Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with this award from Stacey ... gee, shucks ... thanks a lot ... I'm honoured!

Now, I'm meant to pass it along to ten others whose blogs make my day ... thanks to all of you who work so hard to bring so much pleasure to those of us who read your blogs!

The A.D.D. Knitter

Hard to believe that less than a month ago, all of this was covered in 8" of snow ... now, we have all this wonderful colour!

I love my winter pansies! All winter, they've been sitting in a pot, just outside my patio door, so I can look at something colourful and happy while I'm knitting.

Now, for the knitting content! Here is another recently completed pair of 'fetching gloves' made from Malabrigo yarn in a really dark green/blue combo. I know, it seems odd to be knitting mitts when the Spring flowers are blooming, but the a.m.'s can still be chilly, especially when you're walking to school. Our granddaughter, who spent the weekend with us, scooped these up for herself. This yarn is sooooo yummy ... I could easily get quite addicted. Thanks a lot for the enabling, Stacey. She loves this yarn, too. It took about 1/2 a skein to make a pair, so hopefully, I'll get another pair out of it for me.

I've been working on the sleeves to my D.B. cardigan which should be finished this evening. Next blog update will likely be the unveiling of the end result! I can hardly wait to wear it ... this yarn is incredibly soft.

I found this photo in my archives of our oldest, with her youngest, wearing two of my handknits. The shawl was my own pattern, knit from Super 10 cotton yarn on huge needles ... basically garter stitch, with a yarn over on the edge to create both the increases and the lacey edging. The pullover was my first official attempt at cabling. The entire body was moss stitch (yawn!) and then the yoke, back and front, was all cables. This is the sweater that got me hooked on cables! If memory serves me correctly, it was a Sirdar pattern, and the yarn was Sirdar Country Style in an tweedy brown.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A little of this and that ...

We're not that big on "Hallmark Holidays" around here, but take a look at what my DH presented me with at the beginning of the week ... 2 whole dozen of them ... my very favourites. All together now, "awwwwwwww".

We decided that we would each have our favourites for dinner, as well. His ... t-bone steak (well, really, any steak, in any form is his favourite!) plus, steamed spinach with a drizzle of vinegar (go figure!) and a skewer of lemon garlic prawns, with double stuffed potato.

Mine ... lamb chops with freshly steamed asparagus, et al. So yummy! Topped off with a lovely French Merlot we had bottled ourselves. Hubby had even set the table with the fancy china, crystal and candles. Big points!

He had been salivating over a DQ commercial on TV for a chocolate/cherry B*lizzard, so I dragged myself out, sans makeup, in sweats, in all my 'I have a wicked chest cold glory' at 10:30 a.m. to pick one up. He was at the mechanics, so it was the only time I could sneak away. Apparently, it was all worth it :)

Now, onto the knitting. I had purchased a bag of DB Cashmerino aran from across the pond, in a lovely teal colour, for an absolute song. I picked the pattern out, which had originally called for DB aran tweed (translation: yarn with the texture of straw), so had made the substitution, having carefully calculated out all yardage requirements. Below is the pattern I chose ... minus all the gaudy embroidery.

I figured that I would only need 9 balls, based on the size requirements, etc. and would have at least a portion of one ball left over. Anyway, you can probably foresee where this is heading ... Here is the pathetic sleeveless cardigan, and it has been in this state for at least 3 months now. I got 3/4's through the sleeves (which I work at the same time) only to discover that no, I would not have 1 ball left over, in fact, I did not have enough to complete said sleeves!!!!! Grrrrrr! I contacted my supplier who sadly advised me that she didn't have any left, and not only that, it was now a discontinued colour. Not to be entirely defeated, I have been checking out ebay over the past few months, but no luck, until recently ... 2 balls showed up ... and it seemed that half the world was bidding on them, too. However, skillful ebayer that I am, I was able to scoop them up within the last few seconds of the post, which likely ticked off many a bidder ... TOUGH! They were even from the same dyelot ... what are the chances of that???? There are the little lovelies, just waiting to be knit into sleeves ...

Notice the pretty side shaping, for we gals who don't care to wear boxy, potato sack looking items.
Such a nice sheen to the yarn, sigh! As soon as I finish the 2nd pair of fetching mitts I'm working on, the sleeves will be next in line. Then, the next challenge ... what kind of buttons shall I select??? Perhaps a wood, or bone one, or pewter looking? TBC ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I've been memed ...

I've been memed by Tara and am supposed to tell you all 7 random things about myself, so here goes:
  1. I didn't get married until I was 34, and instantly went from single, career girl to: wife, step-mom & grandma.
  2. Although my husband and I knew and worked with each other for 5 years, we actually only dated for 8 weeks prior to our wedding (4 weeks dating; 4 weeks engaged)!
  3. In my early 20's, I spent 2 years traveling in Europe as the female lead singer in a Christian Rock Band.
  4. My grandma taught me to knit when I was six, but it only became my passion within the last 5 years.
  5. I had cancer (Hodgkin's Disease) when I was young and have been clear for 20 years ... thank you Lord!
  6. I was very quiet/somewhat shy before I married my husband (who is extremely quiet!) When a co-worker remarked how chatty I had been (in a group where I didn't really know anyone) my dear husband replied that, "she could strike up a conversation with a fence post".
  7. I love dogs ... the bigger, the better! I have a wonderful golden retriever, whom I love to bits ... but one of my dreams would be to have an English Mastiff with a light coloured coat and dark, wrinkly face ... slobber and all!
Ok, so now I've supposed to tag 7 others to participate, so here goes:

Craft chick

When you've finished your 7 random facts about yourself, tag 7 others and leave them a message in their comments to let them know what you've done!

Now that that's done, onto the knitting! I was babysitting the grandson last week, for two days, as poor mom was down with flu/chest cold. We had so much fun! I finished the second 'Toasty Topper' from Knitty and while holding him in one arm, managed to snap a photo of him wearing it with the other hand. So cute!

See last blog entry, for specs ... please scroll down.

And onto the 'fetching mitts', also from Knitty .

I knit these in Debbie Bliss, cashmerino aran, exactly to pattern specs, however, after I finished the picot bind-off, wasn't impressed, as it was too wide and looked floppy/flared out, so I undid it and just did a normal (somewhat tighter) bind-off. I'm delighted with the results! Such a quick knit ... did one last night, and one the night before. We actually had a sunny day here, so I was able to take the photo outside. Notice the lovely, clean, white stucco siding, which I freshly painted last summer :)

I like that the mitts are a matched set, meaning that the twists on the cable are the reverse for the opposite hand. Clever pattern!

This was my first attempt at mitts, and I think I'll definitely be making this pattern again. It's definitely one of the nicest I've seen around.

They will be gifted to a friend of mine for her birthday. She has a serious liver disease which affects the circulation in her hands (which are always freezing), so I thought these would be perfect as she can even wear them around the house, but still have her fingers free to do whatever.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Back in the saddle, again ...

Sorry about being incommunicado for so long ... I was down with the flu ... the kind that makes you feel as if you are completely 'boneless', and even your hair hurts. Even though I wasn't particularly interested in food (all I wanted was sourdough toast) I didn't lose even a pound ... what's the deal with that?? I mean, really, if you're going to come down with the nasty flu, at the very least, the benefit should be that you drop a few pounds, right? Well, the one good thing about having the flu for a week, is that I got a fair bit of knitting done in between numerous naps and lying around on the couch.

Since last June, I (along with many others) have been praying for a preemie baby named Emma, who has been in ICU at Children's Hospital since her birth, due to complications with her heart. We had hopes she might be able to come home for Christmas, but things took an unexpected, nasty turn. We almost lost her several times. Since then, her situation has improved dramatically, to the point where the doctors have said she will likely be released in the next 2 weeks ... amazing!!

So, I decided that Emma required a "coming home" outfit to celebrate. I had scored 6 balls of purple Rowan All Seasons Cotton for only $2 a ball during a sale last Fall at my LYS. I couldn't believe my fortune when I found it tucked away in the clearance section. This little hat is from the 'One Skein' book

And this adorable wrap sweater is from Debbie Bliss 'Special Knits' ... it's the one on the front cover. I made the 9-12 month size, as Emma is finally starting to catch up to her age/size, and I though that since it is cotton, she'll be able to wear it now and likely through Fall.

This was an easy, interesting knit due to the unusual construction ... it's made all in one piece, starting at the bottom. When you get to the armhole, you simply cast on extra stitches and start knitting the sleeve, which then gets folded in half and sewn up along the bottom edge. Other than that, the only sewing required is the side seams. The ribbed shawl collar is created by picking up stitches around the front portions and the neck. I'm thinking I'm going to add a tie to the front, to help keep it closed.

Emma's mom and dad are going to have an open house for all the folks who prayed for and supported her while she was in the hospital ... it will be the first time I'll be able to see her in person and I'm so looking forward to it!

We had a baby shower for one of the gals from work who recently had a boy. What is it with all the boys lately? I think that's 4 now. Anyway, it was the perfect opportunity to try out the "Toasty" pattern from the latest Knitty.

I used the only acrylic yarn that I like (Marble by James Brett) which cost $5.99 for a 100 g ball, and was able to make 2 hats (with a golf ball size ball of yarn left over) one for the shower which was held last night, and another one for our grandbaby. I really like the varigation of various greys, to a dijon yellow. So cozy!

So very cute! We immediately had to try it on the sleeping baby, while everyone ooh'd and aah'd and several picture were take (not by me) which I'll hopefully get a copy of.

Well, it looks like I'll have our grandbaby for the next couple of days, as our daughter has just phoned to say that she's now down with the flu and her husband is out of town ... go grandma!!