Sunday, December 30, 2007

Knitting Year 2008....Year of Projected Projects!

Happy New Year! I pray that it is a year of blessings for you and yours in 2008!
Okay...Now back to knitting! And, no reason for the picture below...I just like it.

This is my future Sampler Gansey from Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel, a great book and guide on the history and how-to's of knitting traditional Ganseys. I'm making the mini Sampler Gansey as listed in the book, and then it can be used as Sam's bear sweater, perhaps. You can see it here on WhitKnits blog, or in the Ravelry patterns, if you're on Ravelry already! I plant to start it today (New Year's Day), although I said it yesterday, too. I'm finishing up hubby's tie that is knit in Rowan Tapestry on size 3 needles.

Below is some of the gansey yarn to be used for a Gansey for myself, after completing the sampler sweater. It's a local yarn in the plum colorway of Elegant Ewe Custom Spun New England 100% Wool.

Hubby and I didn't really exchange gifts this year, in the conventional manner. He's a Ham Radio operator, and would like to purchase some books/equipment when needed. Sounds good to me! Oh, and he received his annual box of Cheese-Its and a coffee mug...this year's mug is a Harley-Davidson mug. Now onto my Christmas gift...yarn related, of course.
On Christmas Eve morning, I went to a yarn store and purchased Knitting Ganseys and The Knitter's Book of Yarn. I wrapped them myself to place under the tree. For me from hubby. The day after Christmas, hubby and I went out to lunch (Moe's sub shop...a favorite of mine) and he dropped me off at the LYS to purchase myself some yarn. I came out with 10 skeins of wool for a gansey, 2 pairs of needles, a few lace scarf patterns, 101 Designer One Skein Wonders book, yarn for the Easy and Elegant Garter Stitch tie, a celtic cd for my son's 19th birthday (New Year's Eve), two skeins of a bulky baby alpaca yarn (along with pattern and needles) for my secret pal at church, and a few other goodies. Wow. I felt like I robbed a candy store, and I thank hubby for the gift of yarn store brownsing and purchasing some fiber related goodness.

This is the 10 inches of snow that arrived on the morning of the 31st, and it's starting up again today (Jan 1st) with the same amount of snow expected, more or less.

Here are 3 pairs of Giver Trends felted clogs that I knit for various friends and family members for Christmas, prior to their embellishments

And...last but not January 2008 Knitting Projects (or at least to be cast on in January!)

- a tie for my hubby from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders (my LYS owner Marci is the designer) …a easy quick project
- a gansey for me…a purple one, as a matter of fact… (sampler project and full sized gansey) for myself, with the help of Beth Brown-Reinsel and her Knitted Ganseys book with local Elegant Ewe Custom Spun New England Wool in a plum colorway\
- Socks that Rock pair of socks for myself (it’s my “Year of Knitting for Kris”) in their new colorway that I received in the STR club this month.
- Central Park Hoodie! Woo Hoo! (cast on a bit after the gansey) - Lace scarf from a pattern from my LYS (Marci Richardson is a great designer and store owner!) called the Diagonal Madeira Lace Scarf in an ebony Zephyr silk/wool laceweight

So…that about covers it! I've spent yesterday afternoon putting projects in their bags…so they’re all ready to go. I like to have each project, the supplies and patterns in bags so depending on my mood, day’s events and my level of sanity, I have everything ready to go! OK, time to put a load of laundry in and swatch for my sampler gansey. Have a great New Years Day!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

London Beanie for my Teenager

This is a quick son wanted a skater beanie...aka the London Beanie...this one was a bit too big (um...I didn't follow the pattern), so I recast on...and followed the pattern, and it fits perfectly as intended!
I used Caron's Simply Soft, since my teenager has no regard for use and care of wool, and loses things quickly. BUT he loves this hat! Pattern is here, and with better photos!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What? It's Mid December? AND Christmas is 5 Days Away? Yikes!

I feel like Charlie Brown in this comic strip....lots of snow, and I'm contemplating the "things" of life. But wait! I received a wonderful, special package from my SP11 Pal, Phyllis.
What a nice gift to receive...2 skeins (in Magenta and Henna colorways) of Manos del Uruguay, the IK Holiday Gifts issue, a skein of Noro (soon to be incorporated into a hat for hubby), Jelly Bellies (already in my belly), body lotion , organic chocolate truffles (yum), a beautiful embossed journal, and get this...3 skeins of Bitty Bunz (140 yd/25gm) in color's soft and beautiful. It's from Artfibers, and the content is 70% Angora and 30% Extrafine Merino. I will have some special knitting ahead of me! Thanks, Phyllis!

Hey! Thanks to Marly and Sharon at the HolidayKalCal, I've won a random prize of a cute mini purse from Woo Hoo! Thanks!

Next, I have my Branching Out scarf, blocked and on it's way to my Christmas Around the World Swap pal, Deb, in Georgia. It's knit in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool on number 5 US.

Next, is a "Crest O' The Wave" scarf, an Elegant Ewe pattern, knit in Zephyr Wool Silk Lace Weight and it was a joy to knit...easy to memorize pattern, and the scarf is lusciously soft in the Zephyr! This is for my secret Sonshine Pal at church. The color is actually a blue, but you can't really see it in this's more of an aqua, which is one of the recipient's favorite colors.

In other knitting news: I'm almost finished knitting my third pair of Fiber Trends Felted soon to follow. They're all knit in Cascade 220...two women's pairs, and one pair for my dad. I still need to put on the suede bottoms and some embellishments. I'm also casting on a skater beanie for my middle son, in brown and blue colorways, which will hopefully be under the Christmas tree next week.
I apologize for not blogging for the past few weeks: believe it or not, I sliced off the tip of my thumb (soft tissue only) a few weeks ago (with a Costco knife), and I could NOT type with it! Nor knit. All is well now. Silly me. I pay attention when I use knives now!
Hubby also has been laid off at work as of Dec 7th after 13 years at the company, and there were 27 people in middle management who were affected. I know that the Lord had plans for us and is in control, and I look forward to what the future holds, but in His timing. Son from Norwich U is home for the Christmas break, and it's SO wonderful to have him home!
Well, time to finish the last felted clog for Christmas, and get back to listening to my downloaded knitting pocasts. Check out Yarn Thing and She-Knits, and Stash and Burn...Now, go get knitting!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is Thanksgiving Weekend Over Already? And...did I really have to cast on my Hemlock Ring Blanket?

Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone...
highlights at our house included (by my perspective)...

1. A wonderful Thanksgiving feast at church (our family has helped served a free Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings at our church ever since we moved to NH over 10 years it's our family's "tradition") and I had a piece of Canadian pork pie (don't know the real name) too, that was out of this world delicious!

2. This was followed by a trip to sister's house (aka the Martha Stewart of our family)...oh my...she had the BEST sweet potato souffle, the BEST homemade pumpkin pie, the BEST homemade lemon meringue, my mom and are passing the "cooking queen mantle" to her when my mom is too old to cook, drop dead, etc. Yes, Boopie (sister's nickname) is a GREAT cook and baker. Sigh. I didn't get those family genes, apparently.

3. Seeing all the nieces and nephews on my sister's side.

4. Sneaking in wonderful knitting time early in the morning while the turkey was in the oven and watching Doris Day and Rock Hudson in the movie, Pillow Talk. I couldn't get to the White Christmas movie at that time, since geriatric dog Toby had decided to sleep in front of the dvd cabinet, and was not inclined to move himself for me at that moment.

5. Finishing my second pair of thrummed mittens, this pair for my youngest son.

6. Spending the day after Thanksgiving with my mom, and we hit the stores in New London, NH...not very exciting like the malls, BUT we had a ball!
The Artisan's Workshop (great store known for "Handcrafted Items & Fashions, Eclectic Collections, Gold & Gemstone Jewelry, Silver, etc. store in PC's ), PC's (Peter Christian's Tavern) for lunch, Knit New London (two hours of yarn love, and new stash...more of that later), Spring Ledge Farm for fresh wreaths, 2 stops at the local Dunkin Donuts, lots of puppy toys, a pink fleece dog coat and such at Abercrombie & Bridge Pet store, and then more local gift store shopping. Done!

7. a new dishwasher!!!!!! Yes! My old one died approx. 2 months ago. It's not installed yet, but will be sometime this week.

8. having college boy home for the week was wonderful! Yes. Now, he's back at college for 3 weeks, and I've got to clear out my knitting stuff out of "his" room before his month long break for Christmas.

9. My friend and craft partner in crime, Christine, had me sit down at her wonderful sewing machine and cut and sew up a lap sized Yellow Brick Road quilt top, using Eleanor Burns Christmas fabrics from my stash, on Saturday morning...Really! She's quite the taskmaster, and I am thankful that she did this, as I have been frozen and fearful to start a quilt, although my quilting fabric stash equals my yarn stash. Now, my homework that she gave me is...
put the border on. Stay tuned!

10. I'm sure I'm missing more highlights of the weekend, but that's enough rambling right now.

Back to Knit New London....

OK, a great yarn store. Great assistance from the store staff and the owner...we spent two hours here...I touched everything, of course. I also signed up for the second class of the Hemlock Ring Throw and cast on, although I was strongly encouraged to wait for class on Dec 1st (easy to cast on using Emily Ocker's method).

What did I come home with?
Enough Cascade 220 for 4 pairs of Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (Christmas gifts)
2 skeins of Cascade Eco Wool for the above throw (a 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, in a grey that doesn't look the same here, but mine seems lighter (color 8049, "Tarnish"). It's a great squooshy yarn, and this throw takes only a pair of skeins, for a completed $30 project!

Lobster Pot yarn for a shawl (a yummy cashmere blend)
sale yarn Rowan Biggy Print for a cabled mystery bag on the Ready Set Knit podcast KAL
a few pairs of Addis and dpns, Soak, etc...things I needed for various projects.
Um...I'm sure I've forgotten things, but that's the jist of it. :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Am Thankful/Grateful To My Lord For...

I am truly thankful and grateful to my Lord for...
1. the Lord saving my soul.
2. my wonderful hubby.
3. Brad, the Eldest...He's great to hang around with, even if he tries the "RTD" stuff on his mom and always wins...
4. Josh the Tall...we ARE so much alike!
5. Sam the Sweet and Smiley...He always is cheerful, and my lovey

The rest is in random they come to me...

6. my local Library...I love books
7. hot coffee with half and half in my Longaberger mug
8. my church family
9. my "only" friend, as the kids think...Christine (my craft partner in crime, she is)
10. people at the Elegant Ewe!
11. my mom and dad...for everything
12. Annie, my pup
13. knitting podcasts
14. a warm house and a roof over my head
15. being able to watch White Christmas after I pop tomorrow's turkey in the oven!
16. Dunkin Donuts drive-throughs
17. Normie! My sister in the Lord
18. Yarn Love (you must be a knitter to appreciate...yarn)
19. Eldest's NU roomies
20. Monica, my friend
21. Pat and Steph, for the teen ministries at church.
22. Cuddles the yorkie
23. Ravelry
24. Tammy, my long lost true sister that is my twin...haven't seen her in 14 years, though!
OK, not my physical twin, but in my heart. :)
25. Gaither Vocal Band
26. my mom's cooking
27. being able to home school my children
28. The Princess Bride
29. my much-loved Bible
20. Mr. Fowler, a great example to me
21. pumpkin pie!
22. coffee, again
23. friends of Brad
24. friends of Josh
25. Grady, the cat who knows no enemies
26. so impersonal, but the internet (blogging, etc).
27. Debbie Macomber books
28. Hymns, I love to sing them
29. Day after Thanksgiving leftovers/sandwiches!
30. snow, as long as I'm at home.
31. Danny Kaye musicals
32. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (old version)
33. Yankee Candles
34. Hearing Sam giggle
35. spending time at the Outer Banks, NC with hubby
36. handmade quilts to snuggle in
37. Mrs. Clow, for being a good testimony to me
38. walking on Anna Maria Island, FL beaches...and shell hunting
39. Yarn Shops!!!!
40. The Little Drummer Boy
41. movies on DVD
42. Christmas lights!
43. LL Bean Wide-Leg Jeans...they fit me best. :)
44. grapefruit from Florida in February
46. fellowship with good friends
47. early morning quietness and time with my Lord
48. walking in the woods
49. apple picking in the fall, pumpkin farms too...
50. Tulips! my favorite flower, along with Lilacs.
51. Lily of the Valley perfume
52. listening to Sam read Geronimo Stilton books at bedtime
53. Hannah, my pup in Heaven.
54. did I mention my church family and Pastor?
55. hand-knit wool socks
56. Eggnog
57. Swedish Fish candy
58. NYC Broadway Shows! (I've only seen The Lion King, but I LOVE Broadway!)
59. Celtic music
60. The Sound of Music!
61. Homemade Potroast
62. time home with my whole family there...whether it's football, a movie, or whatever.
63. Having sons and all their friends over and eating all the food. Really.
64. for my son's future wives, whomever they may be. They are being prayed for! :)
65. KnitPicks podcast
66. Manos del Uruguay yarn
67. The song:
Be Thou My Vision
68. Chapstick
69. Sertraline, gets me through PPMD!
70. being in my 40's!
71. The Red Sox winning the World Series
72. Golden Retrievers
73. books, books, books
74. traveling to Germany, years ago.
75. My Shakespeare teacher in high school...around 1980.
76. scent of Christmas Trees and Wreaths
77. Silent Nights
78. spending time with my mom, who lives out of state
79. music of Iz
80. our American soldiers for serving, sacrificing, and protecting us.
81. the old Bugs Bunny/Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote cartoons...and watching them with my dad.
82. Speaking of Dad...His advice, encouragement and just being my dad.
83. Tea with honey when my throat hurts
84. my Lord not giving up on me, and for His never-ending forgiveness
85. Sushi. Enough said. My fav. Oops...and Edamame.
86. my years as an RN in the Neonatal ICU and Labor & Delivery.
87. Pancakes with REAL maple syrup
88. slippers and flannel jammies
89. my special surprise, Sam!
90. bonfires/campfires and S'mores
91. my gastric bypass surgery 5.5 years ago
92. watching the night sky and stars on a crisp and cloudless night
93. Lighthouses
94. Schnauzers
95. Christmas Eve with the family
96. Addi Turbo needles!
97. Sheep
98. The ocean breeze
99. NC BBQ! It's like no other.
100. the color red
101. Blue crabbing with the kids
102. Nancy, who helped me "remember" how to knit when my kids were little
103. my knitting cyber-friends
104. Croc shoes. I have quite a few
105. spending time at the family lake house here in NH
106. Snowmen!
107. growing up on a dairy farm in CT
108. being able to know my Scottish great-Grandmother, who lived to be 101 years old.
109. Did I mention knitting?
110. rainbow, and roses, and whiskers on kittens...(you know the song)
111. being able to teach at Vacation Bible School each summer
112. French Fries with Mayonnaise! Chips with Onion Dip! who needs the chips?
113. The Old Rugged Cross
114. my bifocals/Anne Klein frames...but they're still bifocals
115. Hot cocoa made from scratch...with marshmallows
116. my youth group when I was growing up...Suzanne and Lynn...
117. playing the guitar when I was younger
118. 3 sons, and my first child that I'll meet in Heaven someday
119. days on the Lake, on an inner tube
120. vacuums! I can't imagine having kids without one. And my washer and dryer!
121. our geriatric pet chicken, Sonja...
122. Campbell's chicken noodle soup...better yet, my own homemade chicken soup with pastini
123. fresh flowers unexpected from my hubby, although few and far between! (hint, Brad...)
124. the scent of Spring, and Fall, and Summer, and the icy fresh scent after a good snowfall.
125. Sand dollars found on the beach, when you're not even looking for them.
126. my only sister, Karin...aka Boopie.
127. Sharpie markers...I use them everywhere.
128. bookmarks and tote bags, I never have enough of them.
129. The Wedding Song
130. Fox News Channel (favorite news channel) and Food Network...I watch, but usually don't cook the items shown prepared!
The List is not complete, but it's time to post...

Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to All!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Changed Knitting Plans

My ADD tendencies take a wild trip at the LYS...with my friend, Christine...the enabler! :)
I went up to my LYS as a focused woman, and bought thrummed mitten yarn and roving in a forest green hue for my 8 yr old, along with yarn (Ultra Alpaca) for my yet to be cast on Hemlock Ring Throw...(what was I thinking?) this particular LYS didn't carry Cascade Eco Wool, which I originally went there for. Happy with my purchases, I quickly exit the LYS and head home, contented. Upon arriving home, my brain kicks into gear, and I realize that the Ultra Alpaca is NOT a good choice for the Hemlock Throw, with all the blocking required, and that not one of the 354 people who knit it on Ravelry used this yarn, either. Also, my son noted that he would prefer RED mittens with BLACK roving, to match his "flame" hat.
To make a long story short, my craft co-conspirator Christine came over to knit, and before you know it, we were on our way to the LYS to exchange my yarn.
First, armed with a focused friend and a purpose, I exchanged the wool and roving for Sam's colors. Good. Next, I didn't see yarn I wanted for the Hemlock throw, so Christine excitedly asks me if I'd like to knit Fiber Trends Felted Clogs (see pic above of models) with her. Sure!
I exchange the Ultra Alpaca for...Ultra Alpaca in other colorways. I was told these would felt well. I've never knit this pattern before, but I'm casting on tonight! I've already circled all of my sizes on the pattern, and just need to wind my yarn and get my iPod in my ears.
Of course, while at the LYS for 1 1/2 hrs, my mind went crazy over project possibilities: Mittens knit with Cascade 220 and Mohair (both yarns are in my stash with pattern), a Manos Newport Shrug, Felted Clogs for Mom? Gloves for Sis? No...cabled scarf for Sis? more roving? sueded slipper bottoms for clogs? No... perhaps the new 101 One Skein Wonders book? Do I need more dpns? Well, I left there dizzy, but armed with my correct purchases. Celebrating the victorious trip, we went to Dunkin Donuts. Homework for both of us tonight: Cast on Felted Clogs and do the sole, and I've got to finish my second thrummed mitten, now that I have more roving.

My Saturday Knitting

College Boy is home...I am deliriously happy, and he looks great. Norwich U. has been a great fit for him, in many ways. The June Cleaver in me made homemade muffins for breakfast, and there's eggnog, coffee, eggs, cereals, or whatever he and his roommate want for breakfast.'s back to cold cereal. :)
Oh, the Knitting news...I don't have any peace about going to the Hemlock class this morning, as MUCH as I want to...besides the fact that College Boy's roomie needs to be dropped off at Logan Airport by 1 the opposite direction of the LYS where the class is being held. I've perused the Hemlock Throw pattern and Yahoo KAL site, and I'll try this on my own. ASAP.
So, to my favorite LYS I go, the Elegant Ewe, to pick up more yarn/roving for thrummed mittens, and some yarn to start the Hemlock Throw.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What constitutes "Stash?"

Tonight, after picking up my eldest at college in VT for Thankgiving Break (see note about side trip to a new LYS store for me, on the way to Norwich ...), I had a delightful surprise, and saw that my new Holiday WEBS catalog arrived in my mailbox! After dinner, clearing the table and washing the dishes, I poured myself a cup of coffee and read the catalog from front to back page, and mumbled out loud about some of the items. THAT'S when dear Hubby said..."Dear, you already HAVE everything yarn-related, don't you?" I couldn't believe it. What does he know about yarn and things? :) He compared me to the squirrel (Hammie) in Over The Hedge....

and said my stash of yarn is hidden all over the house. Sigh...he's right. Here are some ramblings from last month that I wrote on the subject:

Stash Ramblings...
Does Anyone, Except Me, Care About My Stash?

October 22, 2007

Stash? Is this a word with a negative connotation? To I’ve come to terms with my stash, and although I’m a HUGE fan of those who podcast about theirs (Stash and Burn, one of my FAVORITE podcasts!), I’ve come to terms with my stash.
My stash is a part of me. NO, not physical, not spiritual (that’s for sure), nor in any other abnormal way. Really. Let me explain.
OK, let’s meet my stash. Once upon a time (in August), my eldest left for his first year at college, and I “cleaned” out his room, and turned it into a “sewing/craft room”, with a dresser, twin sized bed, desk, and night stand for his use while home for the holidays. I scrubbed the room top to bottom, and stuffed into the bookshelves all of my squirreled-away knitting books, pattern books, knitting technique books, my Socks That Rock Club notebook, and everything I’ve ever printed from Knitty and such. I do mean ALL of my written knitting paraphernalia. I gathered every knitting printed item from all corners of my home, and lovingly put it on my bookshelves.
Next, it was the knitting “accessories”. Yes, the “accessories”...every stitch marker, needle sizer, dpn holder, every Lantern Moon, Crystal Palace, Brittany, and Rosewood dpn... every Addi in every length that I could coax out of hiding...every knitting bag from sock bag to my Jordania Page messenger bag...and everything in between. Yes, it was painful...the items keep appearing from bags...tins...purses...stuffed into yarn balls...still in original bags...etc.
Once the “stuff” reached the craft room, I put on some Iz music, and arranged my straights in a nice clear vase, the dpns in a mug (I like to see them, don’t ask why) and the Addis are currently (gulp) in a large decorated Maxwell House coffee tin. Yup. (And, yes, I have lovely handcrafted needle holders to use if I choose to). This...was the fun part. Pardon my grammatical mistakes while I jot down my stash blurb.
THE yarn was last. You know the saying about save the best for last. I was a bit apprehensive about pulling EVERY bit of hidden, stashed, bagged, skeined, caked, shoved yarn into the room. I made sure my wonderful hubby was at work (he wouldn’t understand this humongous undertaking, and would gasp at the sight of any yarn that wasn’t currently a WIP), poured a big cup of coffee, and went to all of my nooks and crannies in the house. This was sort of fun. Yes.
Some of the yarn I didn’t even remember purchasing. It was like Christmas. Some of it was sad, when I realized that either the person intended for a particular garment had passed away (such as my sister-in-law from lung cancer at an early age), or a child had outgrown a particular pattern that I had envisioned him in. I didn’t write a spread sheet for my yarn (yet), not did I catalog it or even write down what I had. All that my ADD mind could handle was to sort sock yarn into a bin, felting wools (including my beloved Manos del Uruguay) into another, and the rest was also sorted by weights. Laceweight and Qiviut have their own tote, and I’m happy.
I realize that I’m not in love anymore with some of the particularly colorful striping sock yarns, and some yarns that were well-meaning (but acrylic) gifts...and I can safely say that these will find good homes by appreciative and appropriately chosen knitters.
Fondling laceweights, Indie sock yarns, my Manos and my STR skeins put a contented smile on my soul. Only knitters understand this. Not my wonderful hubby, mother, or even close friends who are not knitters. I have an outlet for my physical body (everyday life and my wonderful family), I have an outlet for my spiritual body (I am a born-again Christian, first and foremost of importance to me), but what defines me, besides being a Christian, a wife, a mother, a registered nurse, a home schooling mom, a daughter, and a knitting.
My stash is not an embarrassment to me. “What I’ve chosen to purchase, keep, hide away, plan for, dream about and even part of me. :) I am a knitter and I love yarn...and I’m OK with that. Truly. :)

Back to the side trip to the LYS that I've never visited before: It's Knit New London, in New London, NH...about an hour away, where my family has a vacation home on a nice lake up there. Nice shop, lots of various yarns, models, quite a bit of Manos...and a bit of everything...I was very pleasantly surprised, and I wil visit this store often while in the area. Tomorrow they have a class, and I want to go SO bad! AND there's room! It's for the Hemlock Throw, and done in a soft luscious yarn, Cascade Eco +. A good friend is trying to talk me out of going, as I don't really have the time or finances this week, and I'll probably come to my senses and go to her house, have some good company, great coffee, and a wonderful time knitting with her tomorrow instead. :) And...go to the Elegant Ewe, BUY the yarn for the Hemlock Throw, and cast on anyway!
I'll let you know.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Back in the Saddle and Knitting...

Yes...the nasty bug has left me...Tis the season for respiratory infections/colds and tummy aches around here... is it where you live? We've kissed the bugs goodbye here for a bit.

The day the nasty cold came, a friend begged me to head to a LYS with her to exchange some dpns...she needed a shorter needle. I vowed not to buy yarn. I felt the Manos, picked up the Manos...but common sense (and checkbook) reminded me that I have enough Manos at home to make a few (or even many) more blocks for the Manos throw, or at least until after Thanksgiving.

So, I put the Manos back. Ahem...on checkout, I saw little filled curiosity got the better of me. Taking a peek inside, I noticed various rainbow shades of yarn and roving...AND the LYS store model for a nice thrummed mitten.
Well...never having made mittens before...never mind a thrummed one...I was intrigued. I saw the blueberry Mauch Chunky (Kraemer Yarn) that is 60% New Zealand wool and 40% domestic wool...along with some huckleberry color roving in a cute bag with directions, and I grabbed the bag and a short-sized stitch holder and went to the checkout. I think that's called impulse buying...right?
While sitting at the kitchen table while my third grader does his math and home school work, I whipped out a fun mitten...and feel SO good! Why didn't anyone TELL me that mittens are SO easy...and so is thrumming! These mittens will work out great for the New Hampshire winter that's bound to arrive here sooner or later. One slight problem: I think I put 2/3rds of the roving into the first glove, so it will be interesting on my second glove as I try to "equalize" the thrumming into both gloves. Here is the outside and inside of my first glove:

Note: While the LYS provided mitten instructions, I didn't find them helpful to a new mitten knitter using thrumming. So...I went online, and found these helpful sites:
The Yarn Harlot's article and photos on thrumming, step by step
Yarn Forward Thrummed Mitten pattern for 4 dpns
Newfoundland Thrummed Mittens
and the pattern that I used for Thrummed Mittens from Knitting On The Net.

I just love the warmth of the roving inside the glove...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mind over Matter....Written Ramblings from last Month

My Mental Faculties and Knitting (I wrote this rambling last month after returning from vacation) :)

Why didn’t anyone tell me that I’d be losing my marbles at such a young age? Is this a normal part of motherhood? Change of Life? Peri-menopause? My ADD tendencies? Early onset of some form of dementia? Alzheimers? (No pun intended...because I do tend to worry about my increasing lack of memory, fragmented thoughts, word associations, calling everything a “thingy” when I can’t think of it’s name, etc...) Science tells us to sleep well, eat nutritiously, and to exercise our bodies and minds. Hmm...I sleep approx 6-7 hours a night, waking up at 5:20 (I love the mornings, eat fairly OK since the gastric bypass 5 years ago, and etc. A bit anemic, but I take care of that as well. My spiritual life keeps me “sane” and grateful for what the Lord has done for me and for saving my soul. I am profoundly thankful for my family, and grateful for my friends. Next...exercising the mind.
Exercising the mind. Hmm. Experts say to learn new skills, play an instrument, read, do crosswords, Sudoku, and such. For me...I knit. Knitting with a new (to me) and challenging technique that is a step beyond my current skills keeps me mentally alert and I love the adrenaline rush of figuring out a lace pattern, counting my stitches, double checking a charted pattern, and trying a new knitting skill. Slow and steady, I frog, frog, tink, tink, and re-knit until I get the “Eureka!” moment of a correct knitted project. I get an undescribable feeling of contentment and satisfaction of “conquering” a pattern...and yet the soothing feeling of Manos (or whatever) and the repetition of a familiar pattern fills me with a sort of hormonal or endorphin type of happiness. As my lone knitting friend Christine reminds me, “knitting is a legal choice of drug or therapy.” :) Happiness often results as I think of the recipient of the garment, and knit as much love into the garment as I can. I think I am a process knitter, with the patience for finished garments. Usually.
While on vacation last week, I was knitting with Zephyr laceweight on a popular tourist beach. I think my family was a bit annoyed, but I loved the sea breeze, the satisfaction of the knitting (while others read or slept and snored), and the fact that I have a beautiful lace scarf that’s ready to be given as a Christmas present. I even had hubby photograph me with my project at the water’s edge. Now that’s love!
I may end up losing my mental faculties at an early age, late in life, or not at all. I do enjoy knitting, and as long as I remember this and get the chance to continue knitting, I’m a happy camper. Keep the drugs and crosswords, I’ll stick with knitting.

I'm a Whiny, Stuffed Head Mom...but still Knitting

Bring on the true friend. :) Head cold, chills, earache, bah...time for me to get jammies on and take it easy. I've been working on my Manos Throw and some thrummed mittens, and finishing up socks for my mom. Thanksgiving is NEXT week....can you believe it?
I've been listening to some wonderful podcasts...She-Knits, Yarn Thing, Ready,Set,Knit...old episodes of Unwound (I REALLY liked Kelli's podcasts!), and etc....It's a Purl, Man's new episode...etc. Rambling and NyQuiled...time to get back into bed!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Sheepish Grin...I'm Back! Anybody Miss Me?

Gosh...Can it be? I haven't blogged here in 26 days? It's true. Boy, I never thought I'd be blogging so infrequently. I always think "Oh, I've got to blog this and that, link some wonderful sites, books, yarns, events, etc...but never seem to actually do it. Life has truly been hectic (who's isn't, right?) but thankfully, the Lord has blessed my family so far with good health (besides the little common bugs and germs that run rampant this time of year), my hubby and kids are fine (although incorrigible at times!...the kids, that is...wait, the middle son, that is...the 15...soon to be 16...year old), so I'm NOT complaining, and now I'm back on track. No apologies or excuses! :) Wait, I am TRULY sorry for not keeping up with things, though!
Quick backtrack:
See the photo above? It's my beach knitting project...knitting a secret pal's lace weight scarf with Zephyr, in a Crest O' The Wave pattern (not blocked yet, of course). We had a glorious week at my parent's Florida condo, which is right across the street from a beautiful beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Lots of beach time and eating out. Great time with my mom at 6 am breakfasts at Peaches (great grits!), a wonderful time with Hubby (celebrated our 21st anniversary and his 50th birthday), and I had a lot of time to knit while the kids and hubby fished and swam. Stone crab was enjoyed, and then it was back to real life, a trip to CT for a week, teen challenges (normal, huh?) and now it's November!
Big Thank You'Ahead:..To Joyce for revealing herself as my SP9 Pal...and she sent me some lovely hand-dyed Cashmere. Be sure to visit her at her Etsy shop or at!

Then, I received a delightful Coffee Mitt that Dorothy knit me for a Pay It Forward Swap, and the pattern is from One Skein Wonders. It fits snuggly on my large Dunkin Donuts cup.

Thanks Dorothy!

Next, it was a box from my SP11 Pal... Kaffe Fassett sock yarn, Knit Picks in the Hummingbird colorway, a great color wheel, a Lantern Moon sweater keyring, a cute handcrafted tiny notebook, a purse mirrow with awesome fabric on the backing, AND two pairs of beautiful dpns!!!! Wow! Thanks, whomever you are. :)

During the past crazy week, I also received this! Take a look:

and, some cute stitch markers, handcrafted with some sort of beautiful glass beads:

is my Fall Felted Bag Exchange Pal. The bag is the Wintergarden Bag, knit with Noro Kureyon and a Lion Brand wool for the base (substituted for the Australian yarn called Jumbuk Wools). It's a beautifulbag, soft yet sturdy, and lined with a gorgeous coordinating fabric...she even made and stained the wooden dowel handles herself. It's a lovely bag, and I'm honored to be the recipient. Many beautiful goodies were included: Zephyr Wool/Silk 2/18 lace weight yarn in a sage green colorway, Addi needles AND a needle case, a notepad, pumpkin spice tea and a orange hot cocoa mix, Yankee candles in fall scents, Pumpkin Spice potpourri, chocolate covered Altoid mints (yummy!), a lovely body creme in Autumn Fest, and a pattern book for bags. Thanks again! Be sure to stop by and leave a comment of condolences on Michelle's blog, as her 13 yr old pup, Chewy, had to be put down, and it's been a rough week for her. I know she'd appreciate knowing that other dog loving knitters care and are thinking of her. :)

On My Needles:
Zephyr Silk Scarf (Crest O' The Wave pattern): done, not blocked
Christmas Moose stocking for son... 1/3 of the way done...involves colorwork (not my specialty)
Big Love right now...
my Manos Four Seasons Throw (see some FO's on Ravelry!) in various Manos colors that I have on hand. I love, love, love this yarn. A lot.
Second sock for my mom (second sock syndrome hit, I'm at the heel)
Socks for Dad (birthday present (Nove 1st) turned into Christmas present)
Mr. Greenjeans...frogged by accident, sort of. On hold right now, till after the holidays.
Forest Canopy Shawl - just needs the border rows knit, then blocked. brain is fried, catching up on knitting and thank you's, and family will be here soon...time to get dinner going! Before I forget, here's the Noni bag that I made for my FFBE pal in beige and brown tones, with leather straps, and knit with Manos del Uruguay, of course. :)

Last word: A few new to me podcasts, besides the usuals:

Knit Naturally

The Big Boo Cast
Two Southern mama-bloggers, Big Mama ( and BooMama ( talk about all the important stuff: faith, family, friends, fashion and food. Plus, of course, our hair.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Ramblings

Gone are the 80+ degree days that we had here in NH last week. Hello Autumn colors, the lower temps, and fresh, hot pancakes for breakfast with REAL maple syrup...the only way to eat pancakes. Truly. :)
Knittingwise, I'm still working on my Forest Canopy Shawl, and Mr. Greenjeans top (a bit), and I'm working on a Crest of the Wave lace scarf in a teal zephyr laceweight for a surprise gift for a friend...actually, I'm casting on the scarf today, as the family and I head to Florida tomorrow, for a week of R&R on the beach on Anna Maria Island...and yes, I DO knit on the beach! And read,
and swim, and make sand castles with the youngest son.
Now, podcast wise, here's what I've put on my iPod for the plane trip, etc...Cast On, Knit Picks, Sticks & String, Yarn Thing, She-Knits, Stash and Burn...and my new favorite...the Knitting Cook. I have my iPod FULL of these people, of missed episodes, etc. It's like having a knitting group with me wherever I go. I like that.
Time to homeschool, do laundry, pack, knit, and etc. Enjoy the day!
From a quote borrowed from David at Sticks & String...Carpe Lanam! (Seize the Wool!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

MY Moose! and Knitting...

This past weekend, my hubby and I were "tourists" in our own state of NH, with another couple. We had a great time...stayed at the lake house in the Sunapee Lake region, ate out (no dishes!), ate junk food, knit, slept in, went to Dunkin Donuts numerous times, and watched college football (men's choice of entertainment) well as taking a lovely pontoon boat ride on our small but beautiful lake. We meant to go kayaking, but ran out of time.
See the moose? I think he was "hired" for the tourists in Quechee, VT! He was very close to the road, munching lazily on some leaves. What a life, huh?
I finished knitting a Noni medium carpet bag, in brown and beige colorways from Manos del Uruguay wool...I love this stuff. I need to felt it today, with pics to follow. This bag is for my FFBE pal, and will be mailed out by the weekend.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Visit to Norwich Parents Weekend and Knitting

This weekend, my family and I ...went to Parents Weekend at our eldest son's college, Norwich University in Vermont. Wonderful program for the family, good good, great Fall weather, and A LOT of knitting time in the a rook, my son had a 16 hr leave and then a 28 hr leave, so we traveled quite a bit this past weekend. As a mom, I'm happy to say that our son looks great, seems to be enjoying life as a rook cadet, and all seems well. I enjoyed 2.5 hrs of knitting time each way (15 hrs. in the car), and brought along my knitting podcasts to listen to. My Forest Canopy Shawl is coming along amazingly fast (for me) and I'll be casting on Mr. Greenjeans, for a change of pace. I'm not one to have multiple WIPs usually, but I think I need to. Time to update iPod knitting podcasts for the week, and hopefully I'll download my WIPs into Ravelry.