May 08, 2015

Relaxation and Knitting

I haven't posted for a while, and that is because I've been too busy relaxing!  I just returned from a 15 day Cruise through the Panama Canal.




 Along with passing completely through the Panama Canal, we visited many ports:  Cabo San Lucas, Porta Vallarta, Guatamala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Columbia.  Would you believe there was also a knitting group on board?  We met on each of the 7 "sea days".  It was a really fun group, and I made some great new knitting friends from all over the world.  You never know when you'll run into some fellow knitting enthusiasts.  So . . . besides relaxing, I was able to get a lot of knitting done, and some good books read (see the "Books I've Read" tab above).
 These two little darlings arrived just before our departure.  Born on Sunday, we flew out for our trip on Tuesday.  Welcome to the world, Baby Zoey Beth (6 lbs.9 oz.) and Zachary William (6 lbs. 10 oz.).  I was thrilled to be there for their birth.  Zach gave us a little scare, as he was born a full 20 minutes after Zoey.  But everything went smoothly, and they are already growing like crazy.
What could be better than getting two new babies?  One for each Grandma!  Both babies look just like their other Grandma (Janet).  They are both sooooo cute.
Here they are on the day they came home from the hospital.  Both wearing the little suits I knit for them.  Their hats are on backwards, but that doesn't matter.  I was really happy they fit.
You may wonder what I was knitting, while on my cruise.  This is it.  Little blessing outfits for the babies.  Small knitting projects are perfect for travel.  These little projects fit perfectly into my cross-body bag, so I was even knitting on excursions.
  At the end of my trip, I started a pink "Lotus Baby Blanket", by Shana Schasteen.  I should be finishing it up tonight, and casting on for the second (blue) blanket.  This is a tricky pattern, but so worth it, once you get started.  It is knit on circular needles, so as the blanket grows larger, you can easily through your ball of yarn into the bag that is created on you needles, making it an easy grab and run project.

As always, my mind has started clicking away, about what my next knitting projects will be.  I really need to buckle down and make myself finish up the projects from the Winter and last Summer, which are still on the needles.  Hopefully, I'll find some self-control soon.  I am just addicted to the planning stage of a new knitting project.

It is time to plant the flowers and the garden, and I've returned to my full-time job, which I really missed.  So much to do, and so little time.  I guess this is just my life's motto.  Happy Knitting!

March 30, 2015

Spring has Sprung

I just can't resist taking pictures of the tulips in bloom, each year.  It is always such a joy, when the weather warms and all of the flowering trees are in bloom.

These tulips are growing in the planter boxes just outside my office.  They are so pretty to look at each morning.

The Spring weather can be quite fickle here in SLC, but even with threat of frost, everyone is always in a hurry to bring out their shorts and tank tops.

Like always, we are planning our Summer vegetable garden, although it may not do as well as in years past, since I am sure we will be put on water restriction this year.  It has been such a mild winter, with hardly a snow storm here in the valley.  I hope we'll have enough water to keep our lawn semi-green.

We making a fast approach on the arrival of our new little twins.  A new grand-daughter and grand-son (#7 & #8).  I've been neglectful on my baby knitting, but do finally have a few things finished and wrapped.

This is the "Small Things Romper" by Carina Spencer, along with a couple of little newborn hats.  My overnight bag is packed, and in the car.  Just waiting for the call.  We'll be leaving soon, for an extended vacation, that was planned long before these little twins were on their way.  I'm just hoping I don't miss their arrival.  I'm hoping the packed bag will hurry them along.

I have selected the patterns, purchased the yarn and have started knitting little Blessing Clothes for the two of them.  These will be the perfect little travel projects.  I've knit the 2 legs for the little boy's romper.  I knit them both at the same time, on US 2 needles.  Although it has just been a week, they seem to have taken forever.  I've now joined them together and I'm knitting away on the body.  A long dress and bolero will follow for the little girl.

If time permits, I hope to knit them each a blanket as well.  The "The Lotus Baby Blanket".  I've knit several of these little blankets, and they knit up really fast.

We've just been informed, that grandchild #9 is also on it's way.  Being a Grandma is so much fun!

I hope Spring is shaping up to be a glorious time in your life too.  Happy Knitting!

March 19, 2015

Upcoming Vacation

I attended a recent Knitting Guild Meeting, where one of the ladies was wearing a beautiful, lacework vest.  I immediately recognized it from the cover of a past "Vogue Knitting Magazine".  I rushed home to look for it, and sure enough, the vest was featured on the cover of the 2009 Spring/Summer issue.  It is: "Botanica Medallion", designed by Shiri Mor.

Since we are planning a Panama Cruise soon, I had been digging through my summer knitting patterns, in hopes of completing at least one summer sweater to wear.  This was the perfect pattern.  I quickly ordered up the yarn:  Blue Sky Alpacas - Skinny Cotton (White), and got right to work.

The medallion on the back knit up quickly, only taking one evening to complete.  I blocked it and started knitting the outer ring.  I wasn't too far before I realized there were mistakes in the instructions.  I went to Ravelry.com, to see if there were any errata (pattern mistakes) published.  There were a few errata there, but these didn't correct all of the problems.  Once I figured out where the mistakes were, I re-wrote the 4-row directions, and started again.

The design incorporated some unusual, but beautiful, stitch patterns.  I was so happy to learn these stitch patterns, and I'm sure I will incorporated some of them into my future designs, as they created such a beautiful lace.  This lace was unlike traditional knitted lace, but rather looked like crocheted hairpin lace.  Truly a skill I am happy to have mastered.

I will be wearing my vest with some light-weight, flowy print pants, with a flowy tunic tee-shirt.  I'll be sure to take some picture on my cruise, for a later post.

Now that is finished, I must hurry and getting knitting for my daughter's new twins.  A boy and girl, are soon to arrive, and I am getting a really late start.  I've started with a blue and pink romper, "Small Things Romper", by Carina Spencer.  I'm knitting them of KnitPicks Comfy (flamingo & sea foam).  They are working up fast, but I've decided after finishing the pink one, to unravel the arms and legs and go with a tighter silhouette and ribbed cuffs.  Once these are finished, I'll need to get busy knitting blessing clothes for each of them.  These are both still in the design phase.

I still have two summer sweaters partially finished from last year, Eva and Stella.  

Stella is nearly finished, with just 1 sleeve left to knit.  I'm planning to attach some long, french lace to the bottom of her.  

Eva is still in the beginning stages.  

These will be soon be my focus, but I have my eye on another pattern:  "Maja-Kiito" by Marita Rolin.  I just cannot get my fingers to knit any faster.  There are just so many sweaters in my head, dying to get out.

I hope your knitting is going well . . . Happy Knitting!

February 26, 2015

It's Snowing!

We have had a very mild Winter here in SLC. In fact, it has been so warm, that I rarely wear a coat to work. I go from a warm car in the garage straight to work, and often don't even notice the weather until I am driving down the road. Today was one of those days. It is now well into the morning, and it has started to snow. I guess I'll be a little cold and wet, as I run to my car for lunch. Oh well . . . since we live in the high desert, we really need the water. I would be really sad if I was forced to let my lawn die in the Summer. So, I say "Let it Snow".

I took me 4 weeks, but I've finished my "Charlie's Cardigan" by: Amy Herzog.  I loved knitting the chevron patterned lace down the fronts, but because I chose a marled yarn, the pattern doesn't really show through.  I think this design is meant for a solid colored yarn.

However, I am really happy with the finished sweater. It is knit of our very own "Salt Grass Alpaca Yarn", in Waffles/Spud Twist. The yarn was a dream to knit with, and the sweater is so soft and warm to wear. There doesn't seem to be a color in my closet that doesn't look good with this sweater, so I know I'll be wearing it a lot. I should have worn it today!

My endeavors in using "Custom Fit" patterns, has really increased the number of sweaters, knit for myself, that have found their way into regular rotation in my wardrobe. It is a welcome change from those that have taken up shelf space in the past, but were never worn. It is seriously, so exciting to knit sweaters I LOVE! However . . . I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable posting pictures of ME, wearing these sweaters. They always look much better, to me, when they are photographed on my dress-dummy. She never gains an ounce!

I still have a stack of yarn and patterns waiting to get onto my needles. A new grandson and grand-daughter (twins) are expected in April. I've got to get busy. I'm guessing these items will make great travel knits, since they are small, and the yarn won't take much room in my luggage.

I've moved on to the next project. It is "Botanica Medallion Cardigan" by Shiri Mor.  At a recent, SLC Knitting Guild Meeting, I saw a Botanica Cardigan worn by one of our local knitters.  I immediately remembered seeing this pattern on the cover of "Vogue Knitting", several years prior.  I ran home and dug through all of my old magazines.  There it was and couldn't wait to get started.

I ordered the cotton yarn suggested by the pattern, Blue Sky Alpacas-Skinny Cotton, in a pure white.  I'm planning a cruise through the Panama Canal this Summer, and thought it would be perfect, worn with a white t-shirt and patterned pants.  The medallion is finished, and knit up in less than a day.  I'm now plugging along on the outer circle.  It has a very unusual stitch pattern for outside edge, and I just love how it looks. 

We returned our exchange projects to the yarns original owner at the SLC Guild Meeting in February.  I received a beautiful shawlette knit from my KnitPicks Cashmere Blend yarn.  It was knit by the secretary of the guild, and I must say, it is beautiful.  I couldn't get it around my shoulders fast enough.  Many thanks to Sarah for all of her hard work.  It was such a fun thing to participate in.  There were some really beautiful things exchanged that night.  I really don't think anyone was disappointed, except those who chose not to participate.  I'm sure they will jump right in the next time.  It is such a joy when "knitters" gather together.  I am always so inspired by the FOs I see there.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Knitting!

February 08, 2015

Knit Nights . . . back in business

After taking a little break for the Holidays, we held our first "Knit Night" of the year. Like always, it was loads of fun. We continued with our "Lady Kina" KAL.


Kathy, Jeri and Sharalee continue to work on their "Lady Kina" sweaters.  They are all coming along nicely!  Joan was knitting a braid banded hat, and Carolyn was stuffing the arms and legs of a cute little doll.
Kayti was a new member to join our group.  She is quite an accomplished knitter and was working on "Velvet Morning" by Knitted Bliss.  She is self-taught, with a little help from her Stepmom.  She has chosen such beautiful colors.  I can't wait to see the finished product.  It is going to be beautiful!

Kayti's Mom, Rachelle and my dear friend Karen, also joined the group.  They are both beginners, but picked it up like pro's.  Rachelle was the WINNER of the Salt Grass Alpaca Yarn and the"Miss Marple Scarf" pattern.

Emery was there, crocheting a hat, along with Jennifer and Tiffany, who was crocheting around a darling baby blanket. Jennifer just had a darling baby girl, and this was the first time she had left her, so she scooted out early, to make sure Grandpa was doing a good job.
Marlene was knitting a Walaby Sweater, with a little Kangaroon Pocket.  Joan and Sharalee brought some yummy Valentine's treats, which we all gobbled up.  There we lots of Valentine's Day inspired patterns available for the taking.  Just another fun Knitting Night.  I am still plugging away on the sleeves of my "Charlies Cardigan".

I'm looking forward to attending some classes, taught by Sally Melville this weekend.  The Salt Lake Knitting Guild has brought her to SLC to teach us all.  It is always fun to learn some new knitting techniques from a Master.  Thanks for dropping by . . . and Happy Knitting!!



February 02, 2015

Goodbye January . . . Hello February

Cold, dreary January has left us behind. It has been unusually warm here in SLC, and February has brought my tulips to the surface. I hope they are able to grow and bloom, but I expect there will be some snow to come. Today is "Groundhog Day", and it's the first time I've not been wishing for an early Spring. I guess that is because I fear "snow in June". I just want to get the cold season overwith, and move on to a long, beautiful Spring.

Running out of yarn for my Bloomsbury, may have been a blessing in disguise. Even though I was able to secure another precious skein of the yarn I needed to finish, the break has allowed me to finish up a few other projects that have been weighing on me. One of these, set aside, projects was the shawl KAL I was participating in with The Salt Lake City Knitting Guild. I had chosen to knit "Flowering Weeds" by Karalee Harding, knit of a fine, lace weight, alpaca yarn in black.

It was a fun pattern to knit, and when spread out to block, the design really jumped out.  It is an extra fine shawl, and will not provide much warmth, but I'm fine with that, as it is planned to be more decorative than functional.

These are not the best pictures, and I would never wear the shawl with these clothes, but my plan is to wear the shawl over a black coat, and the camera really can't catch the flowering design, when it is worn over black.
I'll be returning my knitting project from someone else's yarn in a few weeks.  I knit these Cable-Heart Mittens, but Margaret Radcliffe.  In addition, I incorporated the cable-heart design into a warm headband.  It was difficult to decide how to use these two colors together in one design.  I hope the recipient will be happy with them.
I'm progressing on my "Charlies Cardigan" by Amy Herzog.  Using a Custom Fit pattern, I've got the back and fronts completed, and I'm moving on to the sleeves.  I purchased buttons over the weekend, and I can't wait to be wearing this.  Perhaps I'll have it ready for my next post.

My "Knit Nights" will resume this week.  I've missed seeing everyone, since our Christmas Party in early December.  Our "Lady Kina" KAL will continue.  Here is what we have so far.  I'm looking forward to posting more pictures of finished "Lady Kina" sweaters from our knitting group.




Thanks for stopping by . . . . Happy Knitting!