Sunday, September 30, 2012

Switching It Up A Bit

Remember these yarns?  I succombed to buying them a few weeks ago.  Normally, I am a creature of habit.  I see a pattern, I make it in the yarns shown, NOT!  Well more times than not, I don't.  A lot of times I do find myself going with the same colorways, but not this time.

I had been eyeballing a vest out at Dunlap since last Winter from Berroco.  I love it in the yarns and the colorway that it was knitted in.    But, I really did not think it would look all that great on me, so I let others knit it.

When I saw the above two yarns paired together on the shelf, I just knew I wanted something out of them together, so what the heck.

I've been pretty much knitting on the vest ever since I bought the yarn, with just a couple of side tracks.  I did add three inches to my vest so it comes down over the belly and when I roughly tried it on Friday night, I was pretty pleased on how it fit and where it comes to.

It's funny how the yarn just happens to come out of the skein.  I am not paying any attention to it, just knitting and letting the changes fall where they may and of course the knots holding binding them together.

I added four more rows of garter around the bottom to hold it down from rolling up.  It will need a little more coaxing in blocking when I am all done, but I am confident that it will behave.

I am just loving the way this turned out so far.  The downside was the sewing up of the side seams.  You all know how I love knitting in the round so it took me all of Friday night to sew up the seams, which made me ever aware that I really need some better finishing skills!

I'm working on the collar now and really get to see how the colors are coming out of the skein. 

I have toyed back and forth on ripping it out and letting the stockinette side be the outside of the collar instead of the purl, but at last thought am going for the purl side even though the changes are really noticeable there.  If I decide to do that, then I would also maybe slip the first stitch to keep it from curling ever so slightly and look well more finished, I do so like a slip stitched edge.

Also toyed with leaving the knots show, but have decided this morning to pull them to the back when done.  There are not enough of them to be a design element and they would just look like I didn't know any better.

And then this morning, I had a thought?!  Dang, got to stop thinking-what if I took the one skein of Ultra Alpaca I have left and knit the collar out of it and then used the Venus to accent it in garter just  like I have the fronts, sleeves and bottoms.  Oy!  I am giving thought to that.  Then I could do the stockinette side showing.  I would probably then have the whole second skein of Venus to do a scarf from.  And it would solve that slight curl problem.

See what sleep does to a knitter?!  I think I am really liking that me?  What do you think?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

And Add One To The List

I was so proud of myself, well too proud for a moment.  I was almsot out the door today from the shop and decided I had to have this one skein of yarn!

It's going to be Stephen West's Purl and Ridge Cowl, I do believe.  It will be great to go with a royal blue turtleneck that I have for later this Fall. 

Once the weather turns a little cooler and I can put the tank tops away, out will come my collection of Evan Picone Turtlenecks that I wear just about every day to work in some sort of fashion.  The royal one has needed something else to go with it and I think this one will do the trick.

Plus it could be a little mindless knitting for next weekend when we head over to see Mona Lisa!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Check One Off The List!

It may just be a little one to check off the list, but none the less I am counting it!  This little hat from Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty hats is so dang cute!  And I could resist these cute little sockies from Avon for Mona Lisa. 

The hat was so much fun to knit, but really what was the coolest for me was the leaf and stem.  I hope it fits her well enough to wear this next month.  Did I mention we are going to see her in a week???  You know that means a couple of posts about how cute she is when we get back don't cha.

The had in 0-6 months size did not use very much up so I have plenty left enough for another hat if it really ends up being not a good size.  I really like Berroco Comfort in any weight.  I've used other weights for one of Mona Lisa's sweaters and I have some really nice red for her Christmas sweater.
I'm anxious to start her Christmas sweater, but can't until I get a couple of sweaters for me sewed up and blocked.  At least that is what I am telling myself!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Website

It's Wednesday and there is a website you just have to hop on over to!!!  Meg at Schoolhouse Press has generously posted the pattern to the sweater on Rachel below right.  The original was in garter stitch and Linda is modeling it on the left.  The original is from the Knit One Knit All.  It was on my radar right from the get go, but when Meg showed the stockinette one at camp last summer with some shaping, I was like all over it!

Icelandic Overblouse is so on my list like now, but first there are a couple of things I need to finish up first.  The nice part - I have plenty of unspun icelandic that I can use for this.

If you do not receive Meg's email newsletter, you can sign up over at Schoolhouse Press.  There is always something new brewin over there and it is so much fun to get the email several times a year.  They have some great new things coming down the pike and I for one am waiting with baited breath or is bated breath?!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I'm Cold

I don't care what the Tall Guy says (he's in shorts), I'm cold (I have my electric throw on). 

This happens every year, I wait for the cooler weather (read as not 90 and 100 degrees), it comes AND then I decide I really want a nice shawl to wrap my body in.  Rather than be proactive, I wait til the chill is in the air and then decide I need one.  Sox are helping a bit for the feet.

I almost cast on one last night, but I've been really trying lately to be focused on my knitting, knitting on a just a couple of things at a time.  But, this morning, I don't think I will wait.

Oh I have plenty of shawls that I could knit with plenty of yarn...

My Stonington hasn't progressed any further than this.

Bridget Rorem's If I Could Fly

Carol's Favorite Shawl, the Pi Shawl, well I could just go on forever.  One that I have had on the needles before is the The Scallop Shawl from It is always an Adventure in Knitting.  Knit 4 Together has this shawl and when I get a bit chilled out there, I help myself to it.  I think it is quite doable and I have this great Frog Tree Alpaca that is just right and might I say bought for it several years ago.  It could be a semi-quick, pleasing shawl to knit this week.

Next time though, I think I'll start in the Summer for my Fall knitting, what a novel idea!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Weddings, Babies and Funerals

Today, my mother's sister's husband was buried.  Just giving the blog the background info.  He was my Uncle Jerry.  He had fought very hard for very long to stay, but I guess it just wasn't bashert.  He was a qwerky uncle with a qwerky sense of humour and gave the best of hugs always!    We will miss him.

There were 10 kids in my mom's family.  So we have a lot of relatives, but unfortunately the only time we ever get to see each other lately is at funerals.  It used to be at weddings and births but now unfortunately, there aren't any of those occasions to get together.

I only have two aunts left now that were my mother's sisters.  I have loads of cousins and second cousins that I reconnected with last night and today.  We are making plans to get together to look at some really old photos that  came from my mother when she was a child to find out who they are before we lose the chance.  My other cousin who is a good 15 years older than me (we once started quilting together years ago), and I are going to get the two aunties and our one other aunt together and do lunch every so often. 

I realized today how much I like my cousins and their husbands and second cousins.  They are great fun to be around and one should not wait for weddings, babies and funerals to get together.  Time goes by so fast and we should enjoy each other more. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Purse Project

Today is pedicure day.  And I always knit while getting my pedicure and Mindy always asks about my knitting.  I have a sweater in my purse at the moment, but it is getting a little big to carry around as a project so I am thinking about switching it.

Ah the decisions.

 Shall it be the pumpkin hat?

I was leaning towards socks, until I managed to lose the pattern cards from the yarn room to the living room.  Is that a sign of too much stuff?
 Or if I find the socks cards I could just put both in my bag.

But first, I need to settle on the pumpkin hat. 

Maybe it is best, I just leave the sweater in there for today...yep, thats what I am going to do.  Too much pressure for an early morning.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Not That I Would

But I could, isn't that the nice thing about knitting?!  It's funny how many knit things are out there that one can find.  There were some mugs and vases that had knit patterns in them, those Danskos I bought this Summer, purses that have been knit, all kinds of things.

Then I happened onto this knit ottoman on the all things turquoise website.  Something I could actually knit if I were so inclined.  I'm not going to, but you have to admit, one could if a knitter wanted to.  And in this nice cool color as well.

A smaller version as a pincushion might be doable...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

It's Sunday Sunday Sunday

And with a week until real Autumn begins on the calendar, it is time to assess what I want to be doing in the next few months.  Regular readers, of course that I am constantly on the lose weight band wagon, so it is no surprise that I really want to get back at that and Sunday is a good day to begin again.

Something that bugs me on an almost daily basis and consumes a lot of my time is that I have IBS.  I do not have it as bad as some, but enough that it is so inconvenient.  And did I say it consumes a lot of my time?!  I have been given thought on which way to go with it, give up sugar and carbs (will that help?)  I have to admit more than once I have thought about it, but for my life that is just not something that I think I can commit to, at least right now.  A few years ago the gastro doc advised that I do Citrucel and use immodium when needed.  Lately, I have given up the Citrucel and used more immodium to control it (if it really is controllable).  So last night, I started back on Citrulcel and this morning it is back on the Weight Watchers train for me.  Okay-enough of this subject.

We are still tossin around a larger house as we do about every few weeks.  The Tall Guy is convinced that we need to keep looking and find one.  I was too, until I put it in perspective.  Monetary perspective - about a $1000 of expenses a month.  Do I really want to do that?  Thats a lot of yarn and guns and knitting trips and buying what we want when we want.  I still am not sure that I want to commit to that.  Of course, the great epiphany last night is that the Tall Guy is going to have to work at least 7 years before he can retire, so that means at least 7 years for me as well.  Too many things to think about.

Then there is the house we currently live in, much work needs to be done on it this Fall, cabinets and a new countertop in the kitchen with some paint and plastering to the walls and ceiling.  Insulation, new windows and walls to the porch would give us a little room to put a few people to eat when we have family gatherings.  The yarn room (except for the yarn) and a small room in the basement need to be switched around to make room for a small area for Mona Lisa to sleep in when they visit.

Back to knitting.  I have made my Fall list and I am so freakin surprised at how many items are on it!  Right now, there are 17 items and nothing on the list but three items are for Mona Lisa.  And none of the three are real wowsers - a stocking, a pumpkin hat and a little sweater for later this Fall.  I've got to get knitting and spending less time on the internet, that may be a turnover of a new leaf for me.

Quite a bit for a Sunday afternoon isn't it?  But, if I look at it this way, if I am doing all of the above...who has time to eat?!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I Got Mail

I love September!  Not only is the weather getting closer to sweater weather, and I mean the kind of sweater weather where you can layer.  But soon it will be non layer sweater weather, where you leave it on all day.

And with September comes my new Wool Gathering from Schoolhouse Press.  I saw this vest at camp this Summer and fell in love with it.  Two reasons, the first is that it has waist shaping and I love waist shaping.  The second because it is knit from Unspun Icelandic which I have some in the really great blue, I also have loads in the silver.  The pattern also has non waist shaping too, so I see a couple of these in my near future.

 And Fall (which officially starts next week), the new catalogs come out.  I particularly like it when I get my Webs catalog.  There are some great yarns and patterns in this one, but for now I have quite a bit on my plate for knitting, but it sure was nice getting this mail!
Wonder what the mailman will bring today??

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Stuff

I went a little wild ordering some things before I went to Iowa.  So when they started arriving, it was just like Christmas.  But a Christmas where you get to pick out exactly what you want.

I've been wanting Enchanted Knits for several years, but really have not had anyone to knit anything out of it for.  Now that we have Mona Lisa, it gave me the perfect chance to buy it.  I'm glad I did, because it was a little hard to find, not everyone carries it.  There is one little sweater in it that I would like to knit for her right now, so she will have it for the October wedding we are all going to.  Grandma better get to knitting!

I love Susan B Anderson's Itty Bitty Animal book (more things to knit for Mona Lisa), but a friend had this book.  I didn't bite on it originally because how many hats does a baby need and it seems like god and everybody was giving the mother a knitted or crocheted hat.  But, finally after seeing the little pumpkin hat in this book I gave in and added it to my library.

 Ahh, Vintage Knits.  Why wasn't I just one step ahead of this book.  This is the kind of thing that would of been a great thought for designs.  I think it would be so cool to design sweaters, but me and myself know that I don't have very original thoughts, I'm just a great stealer of others.  But anyway, I love these little sweaters and soakers in this book, so I just had to have it.

And finally, what a combo, top down sweaters AND Ann Budd.  I have one other of her books, and you just can't beat the multiple sizes and designs in this book.  Well worth waiting for.

Now, I just need some time to knit everything I want! 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Everything Just Looks Better

I've been wanting a real dressform forever!  It's hard to get someone here to take pictures of me wearing the sweaters.  Sure, they will when I ask, but they never seem to quite come out how I want to.  I've tried to take self pictures with my remote, but it's hard to do that and not see the remote in the hand or get the camera just right.

Several other bloggers that I read photograph their knits on one and I really like the way they turn out.  Can you see me reasoning why I needed one of these?

I bought a size 14.  I am kind of sort of a 14 on top but not on bottom, so I have set my current goals to be the same sizes as my dress form.  (Chuckle)

This is my finished Summer Solstice, unblocked and on the dressform.  Doesn't it look so much better on a body like??  I love my new purchase and can see it being part of the decor just to look at my creations and it is functional too!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Equal Time

I have to say Baby Boy B can be quite a card at times.  This is what awaited me in my chair when we got home late Monday night.  He had spent the weekend in Chicago and came home with a Snoopy for me for my collection.  Snoopy is reading Hunger Games while keeping updated on the computer. 

 In my portfolio of things to do was a note:  Will - Baby Boy A - only debt, Baby Boy (himself) - Everything.  Chuckle!

Mona Lisa is so growing.  She is smiling when you talk to her and cooing, just so many new things are happening.  She found her hand while we were there.

 Sometimes she just looks at us like who are you people?

 After a day or two, We finally got her routine down.  Wake up, eat, change diaper, play a little, get a little cranky, take a short nap, start it all over again.

It was a great weekend.  I have said it before, but I could so retire from work and take up residency really close to this little one.  And on the side, open up a knit shop that Baby Boy A's city could really use. 

Oh well, guess I'll just go to back to work and wait for the first weekend of October to come for our next fix.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's Been Quite A Weekend

I'll bore you with more pics later this week and with loads of other posts, but for today, this says some of it.  What a great weekend we had with Mona Lisa.  She is growing so!  She goes today for her 2 months shots, poor baby, but a necessity.

We were in charge of her for most of Saturday and Sunday, and I discovered how difficult it is to do almost anything with a baby in the house.  The Tall Guy was great, unbelievably so.  I wish I could have captured the look on his face several times.  You could just see the love on Grandpa's face.  He changed her a couple of time and did the airplane thing taking her to her room.  It was just heart warming.

At times, we had six adults living in the house, and it felt great to see them eating the Tall Guy's dinners that he prepared for them after coming home for work or pre-wedding parties.  I think they all appreciated it so! 
The kids schedules are all wonky so they all get home between 5 and 7 at night and one of the others is heading off to work at 7 at night, it was just fun to see 4 young adults so appreciative of good food.

While I was gone, I tried to do some timed posts, but they just did not work out.  So I could only post one while gone and not when I wanted, but at least it made the blog.  Going to have to figure out what went wrong there.

We left late last night after dinner, cleaning up and Mona Lisa nursing. It was late when we got home and I literally glanced at the mail, put my jammies on and went to bed! This morning and today, I am taking it easy, coffee in my hand, getting caught up on all the websites, opening some fun packages and just plain taking it easy before I have to go back to work tomorrow.

I am anxious to blog some pictures and a video if it works out in the coming days and show you the goodies that I got while we were away, but those will wait for later this week, for now I am going to enjoy the cool sunny Central IL weather!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Happy Birthday on the 9th Char!

When I Return

My plan is to start my Swirl Sweater.  It will require winding some yarn, definitely swatching and then casting on a gazillion stitches.

My plan is to get busy on new sweaters, hats, a Christmas stocking for Mona Lisa.

My plan is to work on one more project that is on the needles to get them off the needles.

My plan has got to definitely be get the Yarn Room taken care of so Mona Lisa has a place to sleep when she comes to visit later this fall.

Oy, the plans.  I love planning, I should have been a personal planner!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Off To Iowa

The Tall Guy and I are off to Iowa today for a long weekend to babysit Mona Lisa.  She is a whole two months old today!  And it has been a month since we've seen her in person.  We hear she is sleeping through the night and now is a whopping 10 lbs.  Be prepared next week to see pictures of our little treasure.

In the meantime, I'm packing my knitting.  You know the story, what I still have a couple of possibilites to toss in my bag, just in case.  Like I am going to get any knitting done while staring at Mona Lisa.

Last week at the shop I picked up these two yarns.  What started it was the novelty yarn.  I wanted to do something with it, but not a whole sweater and not a headband or scarf either.  I'm kickin a couple of possibilities around with it so I am going to tuck in just the Alpaca this weekend to swatch should I be able to talk the Tall Guy into driving over.

The weather here in Central IL is kicking up a storm this morning.  But after it rolls through, some cooler temps are coming.  I think Fall is on it's way so it is definitely time to kick up some Fall sweater knitting!  I love Fall!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

My Olympic Project

My Summer Solstice Sweater is done.  This was my Ravellinics project, but it took me a little longer to finish.  I've been doing some other knitting in between.   I just need to do a bit of blocking on it and it will be good to go for this Fall.  I can hardly wait to be able to wear it.  It is from Wistful from Chris at Briar Roser Fibers.  I just love her yarn and especially Wistful.  It's got alpaca in it, which you know is my fave fiber.

When I first started this sweater, quite frankly, I wasn't sure if it would fit or not.  If I would have enough yarn or not.  I swatched but really did not like the hand of the fabric that I would have had to use to get gauge.  So, I went with the needle I did like the hand of the fabric and made a larger size.

I was pleasently pleased when I had a lot of yarn left and it fits.  Success and a sweater that is going ot feel oh so good to wear.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Just A Bit O Yarn

This is all that is left for my Hanten.  I still need to do something with the sleeves and side seams.  They are supposed to have the stitches picked up and then three needle bind off them together.  I know I don't have enough to do that, but I am going to give my friend Char an email and see if she has any left that she could spare.  Then there is always Cheryl.  Shey may have some laying about too.

I knitted my sleeves just a little longer and that is where the extra yarn is I am sure.  If I get desparate I could use something else or rip back the sleeves a bit. 

As it is they are not all the way to the wrist bone.  The closure on the front is a couple of ties that are held down by buttons and then you tie it up.  I am still noodlin on that to see if that is something I want to do.

I think the color is way off on this picture, the jacket is not near as bright as this.  It really is way more like the wee bit of yarn that is left, dark.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Yes I Did

I've wanted one for sometime.  So I bit the bullet and ordered a dress form in a size 14.  It is going to be kind of cool to put my sweaters on for pictures.  But, wait it is a two fer.
I am definitely a size 14 on top and probably around the waist, but definitely not on the hips.  My goal - to be a size 14 at the hip too.  Which means it's time to get moving, now that the weather looks like it might start cooling down this weekend..  Cooling down for us in the 70's. 

I am hoping it arrives before we head over to babysit Mona Lisa this weekend.  The next time I finish a sweater, I'll put it on my body, I can see the pictures now.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Let the Knitting Begin

Knitter's used to be my fave knitting magazine back in the day.  I went after back issues on Ebay and coveted each and every one.  Then there was a changing of the magazine, and I kept my subscription up, renewing it at Stitches Midwest basically because of the bag that was the incentive to renew.

The magazines went to the stack in the basement and barely was there anything in the magazine that I wanted to knit.  Enter this issue which immediately caught my eye.  Jackets!  And I am a jacket kind of gal for work in the Fall/Winter so I bought it for the tease alone.

Love this cover jacket and I could totally see me  knitting and wearing it.  Requires some further investigation, but at first glance I see it is based off of Custom Knit Jackets, a book that I bought a year ago, well you guessed it, for the name alone.

 This one is on the list too, but really just as a wish item.  It's linen stitch with Prism yarns.  And as I recall Prism is a little pricey and linen stitch, well you know how long that would take me.  Part of the article on this jacket is a hidden zipper technique which might be interesting to take another look at.  Love the jacket, but not happening this year, just way too much other knitting to concentrate on this Fall.
And this little number, just love the whole look.  And if I was a tad thinner, I might even have given the skirt a try.

There are some other interesting jackets in this issue, I'm glad I bought it, but I'll give Knitter's a couple of more issues before I go nuts and order a whole subscription.  Besides, gotta help my local economy, don't I?!

Knitting for me these days --- it is offical Fall Winter Knitting Season...let it begin!