Monday, April 29, 2013

Baby Bella's Spring Sweater

This is such a funny.  Baby Bella's Dad said he used to think these little sweaters were silly.  Now, that he has a new daughter and she has one he thinks they are really cool!

I see more sweaters in her future.  It is so good when the recipient likes what you actually give them and you get to see them in it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rainy Days and Sunday Mornings

As I went to bed last night, I thought about the fact that in a few short days it will be May.  It is hard to believe, since April has been such a mish mash of weather, so much rain and a warm day or two intermixed with what seemed like winter coming back.  No real super Spring days that we so enjoyed last year before all of a sudden, Summer came without a moments notice.

While trying to drift off to sleep last night, I thought of my Flicker Easy Folded Poncho that I have been knitting on off on and on for sometime.  It is my lunchtime project and lately, I have not been too much at lunchtime, just eating at the desk while working, or teaching a few co-workers to knit (which I am having a ball with).  This poncho has like 50 inches of stockinette and I am not half way yet.

It is pretty obvious that I am not going to be wearing it this season, and I think it will make a fantastic Fall item to wear.  I think I will tag it and put it away for now, and bring it out later this Summer.  Although, it might make a great throw over to wear this July at Knit Camp in the classroom.  So, maybe I'll just sit it aside right now and pull it back out when I truly need some idiot knitting.

I have been playing around with LaLa's Shawl for a co-worker.  She will be 50 next March so there is plenty of time for knitting on this shawl.  This is another one that is going to be set aside for now.  There are so many things that I want to be knitting right now (ie all those cool yarns I got yesterday),  and it is time to really have those really truly want to wear this Spring/Summer out front and center for knitting now.

I made a pack with myself a week ago, that I would knit on my Ivory Leaves one hour a day, without t.v. or computer.  I've done fairly well, except for two things - there were times when the t.v. was on, but I am getting with the rhythm of the pattern now and so I can knit and watch t.v. at the same time.  And some nights, I just didn't want to put it down, but rather kept knitting past the one hour limit.  And I owe two nights of knitting still on it, because I took Friday and last night off to play with the Poncho a bit.

But, I think I can easily make that up today, because the laundry is all caught up and rainy days really make want to sit in my chair, with a hot cup of coffee and do a little knitting.  This morning's fare on t.v. is Mr. Selfridge from last week.  Then onto The Americans, I've got from the second week on to catch up on.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing this Sunday, I hope it involves knitting and you are having a great day - even if it is raining.  Enjoy!

Saturday, April 27, 2013


It was another good day at the Knitting Pipeline Retreat and I added some yarn to the Yarn Room today, but I am so pleased with my purchases.

Some were from the local shops that had set up last night and today.  From The Fiber Universe, Cobasi yarn in two colorways.  During the month of April, they were doing a surprise KAL with Knit Purl Hunter.  It wasn't until last week that I saw on-line some of the shawls that were almost done, that I decided I might like it.

From Knit 4 Together.  I've been trying to decide several weeks which color way of Vijay Fibers to get to make a shawl was in the Spring issue of Interweave Knits.  Claudia helped me make the final decision today.

Last winter, I knitted myself a Purl Ridge from Stephen West out of Araucania Yarns in a royal blue.  I really liked it and one of my close young friends really liked it because it wasn't so chunky of a cowl.  She and the lady who works for me are the only two that I actually will knit for, so the one on the right is for a birthday present for one and a Christmas present for the other.  I bought one from The Fiber Universe and the other from Ewe-nique Yarns Etc.

Ewe-nique, also had this cute pattern for a little bunny hat.  The other pattern is a stuffed animal, but I really bought it for the bunny hat.  And that it is out of Opal which I just so happen to have some of that in the yarn.

I got this great Nora Gaughan pattern book free with my purchase, and I was quite thrilled about it as there are several cool sweaters that have possibilities for later this year.

 I bought a couple of things from retreat attendees today that set up.  From Klose Knits, this cool fame yarn.  She had a Wingspan knit out of it on size 4 needles.  I already knit one Wingspan, but this one is so different that I had to get the yarn.

From Cakewalk Yarns,  this Merino/Cashmere/Nylon yarn for some sort of shawl I am thinking.  I've been stalking her etsy shop here and there and so pleased to see her vending today!

Yep, I've got some knitting to do now.  I'm leaving my yarns in my Knitting Pipeline bag for now.

There was some more great inspiration today.  One of the breakout sessions this morning was Shawl Show-Off from Cindy.  She had quite a collection that she showed for us, and I am so anxious to head over to Ravelry and check her projects out.

As last year, Paula and a couple of her group played the bagpipes for us.   The food-breakfast and lunch were once again fantastic ( a veggie burger unlike I have ever had), with water, tea and coffee always on hand.

Well worth the $60 to attend.  Another fantastic Knitting Pipeline Retreat, I'll be going again next year!

Friday, April 26, 2013

It Was A Good Start

The first day of the Knitting Pipeline Retreat was great.  Even though, I had to work until 4, I got some knitting done, but as usual not as much as I thought I would.  So, for tomorrow, I am re-thinking taking my big bag and three knitting projects.

My Knit Swirl can stay home and I think I'll take a couple of smaller projects with me.

It was so great to see garments on knitters.  A lot of them were already in my queue, but tonight really made some of them solid and for a couple of them brought them back to the top.

Top contenders tonight include:
Effortless out of Knit Picks Tonal - the sweater I saw tonight really flowed well and I liked the way it draped

Stormy Mountain - the back of that sweater looked so nice!  Very attractive from the front and back and appears to be somewhat like the Vitamin D, but way more attractive of a fit

Bloody Mary - gorgeous and even without buttons it was a nice sweater that I definitely want to look at again, out of Berroco Vintage I believe

Vitamin D - this one really made me tell myself, it must be longer and the front drape lower, make it happen or don't do it

Interesting tidbits from tonight:

Susan B. Anderson is a participant - she is just like you and me!

The Fat Squirrel Speaks - just like she is on her video cast

Met Jonel, saw a smocking friend from about 30 years ago, Peggy, and met up with Pat again this year

Dinner was great and they had options for us wheat free/gluten free want to be!

Got a cool tote bag again this year with two skeins of Finch in it!  How cool is that?!

I'm excited for tomorrow, the vendors will be all set up along with some small shops.  See you on the flip side.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

To Retreat I Go

This is Linda and I last year at the Knitting Pipeline Retreat in nearby Washington IL.  We are going again with Char and Norma.  I have to work most of the day so I'll meet up with them tomorrow late afternoon at the retreat.  We had a great time last year, just sitting around knitting, meeting new people, learning a couple of new things, eating great food and just having a nice weekend of knitting.

Knitters from all over the states will be there, some are actually sleeping at the church where it is being held, others in nearby hotels.  Tomorrow, they are doing a yarn crawl to local shops, but I won't miss out totally.  The local shops and some indie shops will have booths through Friday night and Saturday, so there will be plenty of time to do some shopping.

I've scoped out three projects to take with me to knit on.  Most of them are good knit in public projects. My main one though is my Tangerine Rose Knit Swirl.  I'd like to knock out some welts on it while I am at the retreat this weekend.

I still have not got my camera back so I hope I can talk the tall guy in to picking it up for me tomorrow so I can have it for Saturday, otherwise, it might be the iphone pics or the big camera.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, April 22, 2013

An Hour A Day

I seem to get myself in a lot of trouble when it comes to KALs.  I commit to them, I start them, I knit a bit and then feel really bad when I don't follow through and they sit in the time out basket, waiting for me to come back and see them.

So, what I have done, starting yesterday, is commit to one hour a day working on my Ivory Leaves Jacket from the Knitted Jackets Book by Cheryl Oberle and hosted over on the Knitaway Group on Ravelry.

Yesterday, I even shut down the computer and turned the t.v. off while I was knitting on it.
Tonight, I had good intentions and I did have them both off for about a half an hour and then The Voice came on and I found myself still knitting on it.  The only time I looked up from my knitting and the chart was when the actual battle rounds were going on.  I love that show .

I knitted way past my hour today and it felt so good to have some more to show for it.

This is a much better color picture, but you can see how far I have come in just a couple of nights.  I really need to get my camera back from the DIL house where I left it a couple of weeks ago.

I'm pretty excited about this progress, I am going to try my best to keep it going every night!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Last Dance

I love that song from Donna Summers.  So catchy and it is in my brain today.

It is beautiful out today.  So sunny and blue and I am so taking advantage of my last day before going back to work.

I am still sitting in my jammies that I found yesterday while cleaning out a drawer.  Even they have snowflakes on them, I am ignoring that because I know that spring is really on it it's way.  I can hear the lawnmowers going in the neighborhood which is a real sign that soon very soon there will be green on the trees.

I am enjoying one more cup of coffee and a little tour around the internet, before I shut the computer down and go take a shower.

Then, I am going to plop myself down in my chair and finish the day knitting to please myself.  I am playing around with Knit Swirl out of Cheryl Oberle's yarn I bought last year at camp.  

I am heading to the Pipeliner Retreat next Friday night and Saturday and may take this a long to get some much knitting done on it.

I have a couple of other easy knits that I think may be great knitting for lunch at work and on knit nights.  I am really going to do my best to pare down to just a couple of projects so I can see some progress on them.  

That always makes me feel good to see progress.  And in my new frame of mind, I think anything is possible.  Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


My week of vacation is coming to a close, but I am so energized.  I realize that soon enough, I'll be back at work and probably within an hour after I am there, something/one will tick me off, but I am ready to handle it, because of this past week.

It is hard to describe everything that I did and didn't do this week.  It started out fantastically, spending time with Baby Boy A and Mona Lisa.  She is growing up and doing all sorts of things, which made me so sad when she had to leave, making me want to retire so much more.  But, realistically, over this past week, I have had that thought more than once and I know that it cannot happen anytime soon.

A couple of things on my list did not get done.  I was going to do some research on alternative healthy eating plans and recipes for gluten free and wheat free meals that I could make for lunch and start my exercise plan this past week along with getting more normal hours of sleep, but none of that happened. I figure, my partners in crime at work can help me on getting back on the walking thing at lunch next week, and Sunday always a good day for starting over on the healthy eating.

I did get a sweater blocked but the buttons still are not on it.  I am still hopeful to have that done before the weekend is over.

What I really surprised me is how much green was in the water from the sweater that was knit with Sublime.  I've knit quite a few things out it for Mona Lisa and NEVER had color in the water.

The wicked weather returned earlier this week and the banks of everything seems to be flowing over.
Yes, we had a bit of water in the basement, but we were not alone with the water, and at least, it wasn't coming out of the pipes.

  I think the worst is hearing that one of our local yarn shops, The Fiber Universe is going to be under water by tomorrow.  They  moved their stuff out yesterday, but what I am hearing is that it may be a couple of months before they are back in place.  Dang weather!

I did do a lot of shopping this week, yarn and otherwise.  I really needed to get some new fresh tanks for all of the spring/summer sweaters I plan to be knitting this season, a new pair of jean shoes,

 spring jammies, and looking ahead to Meg's Knit Camp, where the a/c is always on, I picked up a few of my fave 3/4 sleeve tops.  Because, you know, come July, you won't be able to find a one anywhere!

I spent a bit of time in my closet, getting it organized and figuring out what tanks are going with what and which ones to keep from my shopping trip.  Some yarns needed to go downstairs to sit next to tanks to see if I had just the right one to go with.

I made a side trip over to Bloomington and on the way back hit Ewe-nique Yarns in Morton.  I spent a lot of time this week doing some research online at Ravelry and yarn companies really trying to figure out what I wanted to be knitting on for the spring/summer season.  I'm saving those revelations for Starting Over Sunday.

I spent two 1/2 days at Knit Four Together, my go-to-local yarn shop knitting with friends that I haven't seen in awhile.  It was so peaceful sitting with the yarn, knitting and just having a great visit.  A gal could so get used to it.

But, alas to pay for everything including my new purse, I gotta work for awhile.  It has been such a great week, it is hard to describe.

I feel so relaxed and renewed and I think I maybe am ready to go back to work.  It doesn't hurt that the sun is finally shining today and there are very tiny buds forming out on the trees!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Website

I'm just sayin, before it is all said and done, I am probably going to have all of these in my pattern library and on the needles.

I have a fascination with this look lately!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Designers I Love

aka if they designed a straight jacket, I would a) buy the pattern b) knit it

Cheryl Oberle
Bonne Marie Burns
Heidi Kirrmaier
Meg Swansen and Schoolhouse Press related patterns
Diane Soucy and Knitting Pure and Simple
Hannah Fettig

You thought there would be more, didn't you?!  There are dozens that I really like, but these five designers I love love!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Knitters I Stalk

I have a whole list of blogs that I read.

But there are two that I look at every day to see if they have posted.  These two, so far are my top pics for knitters who get the fit, flatter, and fashion piece of knitting.  Someday, I hope to grow up and be knitters like them.

Both blogs have totally added to my queues of want to knitting ideas and yarn.  Isn't the web a wonderful thing?!

Tomorrow - Designers I Love aka if they would design a straight jacket I'd knit it, especially if it was out of Alpaca.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Designers Who Get Fit, Flatter and Fashion

You might tell by my favorites and my book collection, Designers that might get the whole knitting package that I am trying to emulate in my knitting. And then again, maybe not.  Sometimes, I'll buy a book or pattern (quelle surprise), because there is a sense that they might know something about this topic.  Then, I get it home and discover that the purchase was not really what I was looking for.  Don't misunderstand me, it is not that I don't admire and love the designer and their designs, it is just that I am too darn lazy to execute their plan.  

Yesterday, I went to the yarn room to just take a gander at the "fit" books I had in my library.  I was surprised on all of the ones that I had.  

Knitting the Perfect Fit - Melissa Leapman
Custom Knits - Wendy Benard
Sweater 101 - Cheryl Brunette
Mother-Daughter Knits - Sally Melville
Little Red in the City - Ysolda Teague

I will be adding Amy Herzog's book that I discussed yesterday on the blog and I have signed up for her Craftsy class too.  After that, I think the library is going to be complete at least for a while.  Frankly, after this line up of reference materials, if there isn't enough there, it just isn't ever going to happen.

Now, as a caution to readers, don't just go out and buy any or all of the above books on my say so.  Remember, as in patterns and yarn, I tend to be a collector!

I will tell you, though, one designer of patterns that I believe gets the fit, flatter and fashion in my mind is Bonne Marie Burns of Chic Knits.  You cannot go wrong with any of her patterns, she totally gets the shaping and there isn't a one of her patterns that I wouldn't knit.  Years ago, my first pattern I ever knit from her was Chickami.  I was so impressed with this knit when I was finished.  It fit just the way I wanted to.  Granted, the yarn was a bust and I totally dislike the look without a jacket or sweater,  but under a sweater no one really sees those imperfections.  I was sold right after I finished this one that I have been a fan of Bonne Marie that moment on.

Check her blog  and her pattern site out, you will see what I mean!

Do you have any favorites out there in the designing field that you believe gets the whole fit, flatter and fashion thing?  I'd love for you to share them with me.

Tomorrow - Knitters I Stalk that get the fit, flatter and fashion thingy.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Here She Goes Again

This morning I woke up with a great sense of calmness.  Maybe, it is because, today is truly the first day of a vacation that is just for fun (and I don't have to do or go anywhere I don't want), or maybe it is because the sun is shining and it is quite beautiful after a few days of rain and gloom which resulted in a flooded basement and some cleanup that is still not totally done.

Maybe, while I was sleeping I came up with where I want to go with my knitting, yep, I think that is it. You see, for the last week or so I have been spending a lot of time searching Ravelry for a couple of projects to go with some yarn I have.  I have blogged about both of them, one is Sea Pearl and the other  is my Flux yarn.  I have spent so much time searching for the right patterns that I have not been doing much knitting at all.  Something, that I am going to rectify this week.

If I was to be 100% honest with myself, I tend to go off on a tangent and follow the crowd in my knitting and not giving a whole of thought of how it would really look on me.  You know the way it goes, it looks good on the svelte model, it will look good on this short, heavy hipped 55 year old.  Not!  But, sometimes, I'll take off knitting on something and then realize, that is not going to look good on you nor will you feel good in it.  This is a topic over on Amy Herzog's blog that you all have to start reading.  Amy's Blog  I am.

I happened upon Amy's Fit to Flatter several years ago when she was doing an installment on her blog about it, before her new book(just out and sure to be in my library soon, I am sucker for fit to flatter books) and her Craftsy class (which by the way I am signing up for) was out too.  Coupled with a thought I had for Sea Pearl as I laid in bed this morning and something pushing me to look at my Groups on Ravelry, specifically Amy's f2f, I am embarking on a new direction in my knitting.  I am only going to knit things that are really going to look good on me and that I am going to love wearing because I feel good in them.

With this thought in mind, some sweaters that are in my wardrobe are going to be gone, and some that are on the needles may have to be taken off of the needles and repurposed.  It is going to be like ripping off a bandaid, because a lot of them, I just love the design, but frankly they just don't look good on me.

What better way to start a vacation with a sunny day, a visit with Mona Lisa, and a new purpose in my knitting.

Friday, April 12, 2013

I'm On Vacation

A whole week of mental health days.  No particular things I have to do or places to go.
If I want to sit and knit all week I can.

A couple of weeks when I was having a most stressful time at work, I decided it was time to take a week off for myself.  Usually, when I take time off from work, it is because I have to go somewhere or do something planned.

This next week, I've got a little list of things I would like to do like blocking and sewing on some buttons on sweater.  And possibly a road trip.  But, mostly just kicking back and knitting and just having time to myself.

Except for tomorrow, when this little lady is coming for a short visit.  What a way to start a vacation!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

On My Way To Find A Pattern

You know what it is like, don't you?!  I'm just going to login into Ravelry and do a quick search for the perfect pattern for a new yarn that a friend bought for you while she was in California.

Shouldn't be too hard should it?  Search for the yarn and surely there must be a pattern for a little shawlette that you just love and want to like cast on immediately, right?!

Who would know that the yarn was so, well, lace weight and how difficult it would be to find one that you have enough yarn to knit it up in.  It is kind of like Goldilocks, I am still searching for the one that is just right.  I'm thinking half pi and fairly simple lace pattern through out.  Hmmm, maybe like Henny Penny, I'll do it myself.

So, in the mean time, I happened upon another ebook to buy over on Ravelry.  I have some great sock yarns and I think that all three from this designer would be great knitted out of them.  The little shawlette may well be my new in the purse project instead of the socks I have had in there that are getting almost no knit time on them.

I've been a fan of Hitchhiker forever so it may well be time to knit it, but I am kind of liking Trillian right now too!

No, I have not found the right pattern for my Freia, but hey, one will pop up or I'll just fondle it a bit.  Or if one of my readers knows of one, send me a comment.  You know I am always open to your guidance.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday Website

I know I have posted this one before, but you have to go the April 4th posting and see what they are blogging about.  Ah the sweet life!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Give Me Your Opinion PLEASE

Some call it decision paralysis, some call it following the herd, some call it jumping on the bandwagon, me I just can't make up mind which way to go on a yarn that I want to knit desperately.

The yarn is Sea Pearl from Chris at Briar Rose Fibers . I have had around 1400 yards for almost a year and all along I thought it wanted to be Heidi Kirrmaier's Vitamin D . Fellow knitter Susan Rainey was knitting on it last year out of Madelinetosh and I loved it then, but it was in my queue even before that.

See, that is the way I am.  I see a pattern I want to knit, I fall in love, I research it on Ravelry seeing how it looks on everybody, check out what yarns they are using and then go from there.  Sometimes, I see it on someone and I know right from the get go that this is just not for me and the thought is easily discarded.

With Vitamin D, I am having a hard time.  I know from the research that I am going to have to lengthen the body and hopefully the fronts fall differently with the picture.  With a little pooch of a belly, I like my sweaters to at least meet in the front. I am hoping, again that by knitting at a slightly larger gauge that it will meet more than what I am seeing.  Also, from the comments on projects, I am seeing that the sleeves are a must to be larger as there is no way the current measurements will fit my pelican arms.

I've cast on Vitamin D twice now.  The current one is not being ripped out until I am 100% that it isn't a go.  But, like a bride-to-be, I am having reservations.  Frankly, I need a healthy dose of reality and OPO (other people's opinions).

Shall I chuck the Vitamin D and go with this?

Or do you have other suggestions?  I am open.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Feeling Groovy

I think it may well be truly Spring.  It is a little overcast and very windy in Central IL today and there is rain coming for the rest of the weekend, but I am feeling quite groovy today.

It has been a great couple of days!  Thursday was back with the regular scheduled knit night.  And today was a great day and the Knit Four Together today.  I got to see knitting buddies that I have not seen for awhile, got some great advice and surprise of all surprise I bought yarn.  Not the one skein that I was going for an Interweave Knits shawl I have had my eyes on since the Spring edition came out, but a couple of yarns that have been out there.

Something that really made me feel good today is how one of the owner's thanked me for supporting the local shop.  She was so heartfelt in her appreciation that it just made me feel really good inside.

So what came home with me today and what are they going to be?

A skein of Noro sock yarn.  The shop has a couple of LaLa's Simple Shawl on display out of different colorways of this yarn.  Last week, they posted on Facebook pictures of the two shawls and one of the ladies I tried to teach to knit some years back, posted how much she likes them.  She is a bubbly lady and has been the recipient of a couple of scarves and a pair of socks that I have knitted for her.  I thought this would be great fun to surprise her with this shawl.

I have started it this afternoon, but I am still noodlin about maybe using Elizabeth Zimmermann's 3-Cornered Shawls and changing it up a bit.  They are a little similar but not really.  LaLa's uses stockinette and no knit togethers and EZ uses all garter and a combo of YO and decreases to achieve the triangle.  I may be able to combine both of them and do my own thing with it.

For a couple of Spring seasons now, I have been trying to find  a casual top to knit on for fun.  I happened upon this one through the Cascade Yarn website when I was looking for patterns for a couple of Ultra Pima Cottons that I bought last year.  I really like the tweedy look of this pattern, and just did not want to use the Ultra Pima for it. 

As I was sitting around the table at the shop today, I looked down and saw the perfect color of Sierra Quatro which is the yarn the actual pattern is knitted from.  But of course it is the perfect color of Caribe Blue so I had to snatch it up.  

I am so excited about the direction my Spring knitting is going.  It is so funny how the difference of a couple of days can make and just being surrounded with fun people who enjoy the same things I do and get it!

Next post - sometimes you have to fish or cut bait in knitting!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Do You Need A Smile Today

I obviously did today, so now that I have that all out of my system, and after a night of being with friends I haven't been with in like two months, this is the revamped post for today.

But in the meantime, if you need a little smile, this may just do it for did for me.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Wednesday Website

Have I shared this one with you?  If I have, I am sorry for the duplicate.  I am so glad today is Wednesday, I just wish it was Finally Friday.  This has been one of those weeks at work (it started with an email I should have not looked at during the weekend), and has just spiraled down since.

It has been the kind of week, that one wishes one was a little older and could make retirement a reality rather than just a dream.  For now, I am going to let knitting get me through it, I wonder if anyone would notice if I hauled my knitting out in my office and worked on it when it gets really hairy?!

Monday, April 01, 2013

It's Opening Day!

And that means Cardinal Baseball and plenty of it to knit by.  Bring on the warm weather.