July 10, 2015

Even When It's HOT . . .

Even when it's HOT, you'll find me somewhere knitting.  Sometimes, I'm parked under a shady tree on my lunch hour . . . knitting away.  Sometimes, I'm sitting on the deck with a cold drink in the evenings . . . knitting away.  Sometimes, I'm on a long car or plane ride, watching the sights go by, and . . . knitting away.  If I have a minute to myself, you'll always find me knitting, and often reading too.  It is never too hot, or too cold to knit.  If it is too hot to hold the project in my lap while knitting, I simply flip the piece over the arm of the chair or put it on a table.  If it is really cold, I've been known to knit my gloves right into the project. (I need to knit some fingerless gloves for cold weather knitting).

Knitting is my ZEN.  It helps me to relax, refocus, and just generally be a nicer person.

I've just finished my most recent projects.  Two "Robin Hood Jackets, by Zoe Mellor".  I've knit many of these jackets over the years, but it is one of those patterns that I just keep returning too.  It's really warm, knit in a bulky yarn, and everyone just loves wearing it in the Fall and Spring, when it is not cold enough for a coat.  It is fun to knit and knits up really fast.  Since it is 100 degrees in SLC right now, I do not have pictures of Zeke and Hayden wearing their jackets, but I'll hope to post some pictures in the Fall.

I've got a good start on my next project, "The Poncho Sweater", by rix-strixerier.  I'm knitting it in "Rasmilla Luksusgarn" (Charcoal), and "KnitPicks Aloft Super Kid Mohair" (Carbon).  The two yarns are held together, and are so smooth to knit with.  I plan to wear this poncho to the movies, as no matter the time of year, the theaters are always soooooo cold.  I'm guessing the theaters don't want people falling asleep during the movie and requesting a refund ticket.  I always have to drag a blanket along, or enjoying the movie is nearly impossible.  I hope my new movie poncho will do the trick.

I've also been working on the "Tolt Folded Bag", but Veronika Jobe.  This will be my "Knit Night", KAL, to begin in September.  The bag is knit on large needles of "Hoooked" yarn.  The yarn feels just like cotton shoelaces, and is really fun to knit with.  I'm thinking it is the perfect project for T-Shirt yarn too, so those in my group will have some options for making their's.
I've been struggling to find the perfect filler, to stabilize the handle.  I think I finally found it . . . I'm using a flexible, reusable straw, that you find in refillable cold drink mugs. http://www.amazon.com/Bubba-Straws-Reusable-Assorted-Classic/dp/B00D3QI37A/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1436543483&sr=8-5&keywords=reusable+straws.  They are strong, yet flexible and one can easily be sewn into the handle for stability, yet it will be comfortable on the shoulder.  

I have another grand-daughter due in October, so I need to start knitting some cute little baby things for her.  I have a fun "girls only" trip planned for later this month, perhaps I'll have time to start on them then.  Little baby knits make the perfect travel projects.  Keep cool . . and Happy Knitting!

June 25, 2015

New Baby Alpacas

We have two three new baby alpacas (crea).  Both born earlier this month, within a week of each other.
 This Cocoa Bean (Momma) and Tootsie Pop (baby girl)
 This is Twinkie (baby girl) daughter of Licorice Whip
Kissing cousins
Just as I made this post, I received information that we had another arrival.  This little girl was late to the party, but better late than never.  She is the daughter of Cupcake, and we are going to call her "Candy Sprinkles".  Such a great year for us . . . 3 new alpaca babies, and all girls.

I've found a dyer for our yarn.  I met her at the Salt Lake City Knitter's Guild.  Sarah Marsden of Intrepid Tulips.  Check out her website.  She does beautiful, hand-dyed yarns, and she agreed to experiment with some of our worsted alpaca yarn.
 This is what the original, raw yarn looked like, when I passed it off to her.
This is what I received back from her.  She selected the colors, and I think they are just beautiful!  I'm so excited about the way she painted the yarn, and how it took the color.  I have enough to make a striped sweater and some smaller items, such as scarves or hats.  Now to find the perfect striped pattern.  Perhaps I'll have to gather some inspiration and design my own. I hope we'll be working together again.  She gave me some great suggestions for having future fleece processed.  She is such a wealth of knowledge, and I can't wait to learn more from her in the future.

The first of two Robinhood Sweaters is complete.  It looks rather blue in the pictures, as they were taken at twilight.  However, the yarn is actually a medium gray.  This sweater/jacket is for Zeke.  He is so excited as it has the perfect fit, but he'll have to wait until Fall to actually wear it, as it is close to 100 degrees in SLC.  He has also requested a gray/blue striped scarf to wear too.  I don't think it will ever be cold enough to wear them both together.
This is the second of two Robinhood Sweaters, a work in progress (WIP).  This one is for Hayden, and will work up much faster, as she is only 2 years old.  It is nice to change the color I am knitting with, as these chunky yarns and large needles are a bit hard on the hands.  I'll be happy to return to knitting with a finer gauge yarn on smaller needles.
This will be my next knitting project "Poncho Sweater", designed by rix-strixerier.  I've ordered the suggested yarn Rasmilla Luksusgarn and Mohair by Canard Brushed Lace.  Both came from a foreign website in Sweden.  It was rather tricky placing an order, when you cannot read the language,  and you need to convert the currancy, but it all worked out fine, as I have received the yarn, and can't wait to get started on it.  It is my plan to wear this garment when I go to the movies, as it is always freezing cold in movie theatres, even in the Summer.

There has been a lot of chatter on blogs and Ravelry about Wollmeise yarn.  Many have called it their "desert island yarn" . . . meaning if they were stranded on a desert island, this would be their choice as the thing to have with them.  It does produce the most beautiful sweaters, with fabulous stitch definition.  It has been floating around in my head, and I'm hoping to get a sweater's worth for an upcoming project.

Our little twins are really growing.  I just can't resist sharing a few pictures with you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Leave me a comment, as I'd love to know where you are all from.  Happy Knitting!

June 10, 2015

A Special Day

Another special day has come and gone in my life.  My darling twin grandchildren were blessed last Sunday.  It was such a beautiful day.   I just can't resist showing you how cute they were in their little knit blessing outfits.

They may not look really happy here, but they were perfect little angels during the service.  They were alert and curious about what was happening to them, and they showed off their little outfits to perfection.
Their parents hosted a nice little BBQ in their backyard afterwards.  All of my children and grandchildren were there, along with lots of family friends.  A Grandmother couldn't ask for anything better!
 It was a warm, sunny day, so these little blankets were just perfect to keep them warm in the air conditioning.  The blankets and outfits have all been wrapped in tissue paper, and placed in a box with a pretty satin ribbon.  They are all ready to pass on to them, possibly for one of their children.  Knitting for your grandchildren is the best!

We all spent the Saturday before, helping them get their yard in order.  Who has time for mowing the lawn, when you have brand new baby twins.  Of course, everyone took a few breaks to have fun.  These little wiggle cars are the perfect way to go for a ride.  Even our grand-dog (Blaze) got in on the fun.
I am still working on the sample for my next "Knit Night" KAL.  I'm trying to find the perfect stabilizing insert for the shoulder handle.  It needs to be flexible and soft, but with enough structure to support some weight.  I'm making a trip to the hardware store, to find the perfect thing.  Perhaps a short length of hose, some pool noodle-like pipe insulation, or even a curved piece of wood.  We'll see . . . .  My husband is usually a genius and helping me solve these issues, so I'm sure he'll have some great ideas.
Kristen was the winner of 2 rolls of HOOOKED yarn, to knit her KAL project from.  It is a great cotton, shoelace-like yarn, that provides great stability.  She guessed from the picture above, that it would eventually be some kind of bag.  Congratulations Kristen!  Your yarn will be waiting for you at the September Knit Night.
 . . . . and ta da, this is what the KAL will be.  "The Tolt Folded Bag", but Veronika Jobe.  It is the perfect cotton tote, to carry all of your summer needs.  It is light-weight, yet big enough to hold your sunglasses, a bit of cash, the sunscreen, lip balm, and a crushable hat.  You can see why I need the perfect handle liner.  It will stabilize the bag for carrying on your shoulder, as shown in the picture.  HOOOKED is the recommended yarn for this bag, but I thought it was also the perfect T-Shirt yarn project.  Creating your own T-Shirt yarn would be a practical and inexpensive method for creating these bags for all of your friends.  They knit up quickly on extra large US 15 needles, so you could knit a bunch, in no time at all.  The method for folding and sewing this bag together is genius, as it creates the perfect shape.  I can't wait to get mine finished up and ready for use.  Mine will likely be all worn out, but the time our KAL begins in the Fall.

Remember how I mentioned in my last post that I was starting a "Robinhood Jacket" for my grandson?  Well . . . I thought I would share my current view at lunchtime.  Here it is.  I'm parked in my car at a Park near my work.  I've worked for an Engineering Company for the past 15 years, and I've found this to be my favorite way to spend my lunch hour.  I eat my lunch, and spend the rest of the hour reading a good book, and of course . . . knitting like a "mad woman".
Zeke's jacket is coming along.  I've had to add a few sizes to the pattern, as the largest size provided is a Toddler 3/4.  Zeke is 5 years old now, and looks more like a 7 year old.  He is so excited for it to be finished, even though the temperature here in SLC is nearing 99 degrees each day.  He has chosen a light blue yarn to go with this charcoal heather, for a striped scarf.  It should all come in handy when he starts Kindergarten in the Fall.  I'm sure it will even be great for Winter wearing in the snow.  It is a really bulky yarn and will likely make a good coat.
This is a really poor picture, but you can see that I have finished the body and have started on the hood.  Two sleeves, a tassel and 10 toggle buttons, and it will be finished!  Then I'll be starting a second, in a smaller size, for my darling little grand-daughter.  This time in Purple.  It is always fun to knit with an unexpected color, that an adult likely wouldn't wear.  I can't wait.

I've heard that it is difficult to leave a comment on this blog.  I have tested it, and it seems to be working fine for me.  Please leave a simple comment here, when you visit, so I'll know if something is wrong with it.  Thanks for visiting and Happy Knitting!

May 29, 2015

Oh Baby -- Baby!

I'm finished!  Blessing outfits and knit blankets to wrap them in.  We are ready for the special day.
"The Lotus Baby Blanket" by Shana Schasteen.  I've made several of these little blankets in the past.  Here is one in pink for Baby Zoey, and one in blue for Baby Zachary (they are folded on top of each other).  Knit of KnitPicks Palette Fingering Yarn in Blush and Sky.  It is a great pattern, although a bit confusing at first.  It is knit on a circular needle.  As it grows bigger, with your knitting, it creates a little bag, which is the perfect spot to carry your ball of yarn.  However . . . because you cannot look at it laid out flat and catch your mistakes as you work.  Thus, there are a few mistakes in each, that will just have to serve as my "humble spots".
This cute little guy has outgrown his hand-knit sweater, and has been begging me to knit him another. He just loves a loose cabled cardigan with a hood.  He has picked out the yarn, and I've cast on in KnitPicks Brava Bulky in the color Cobblestone Heather (dark gray).  He has also requested a striped scarf, which will be knit in Cobblestone Heather and Sky (light blue).  

The pattern we've chose is The Robin Hood Jacket, by Zoe Mellor.  I've knit this pattern many times, even adjusting the sizing for an adult.  Here my daughter and daughter-in-law are both wearing their's.

He is so excited to get it.  Even though the weather is much too warm to wear such a sweater, he asks me every day if it is done yet.  I keep telling him it will be ready for his first day of Kindergarten in the Fall.  My two-year-old grand-daughter also wants  one.  Her's will be knit in the same yarn, in the color "Fairy Tale" (plum purple).  Her's will be knit second, but should be ready for Fall wearing as well.
These are the tease pictures I posted for our next "Knit Night" KAL.  We'll be starting up our gatherings again in September, and this is what we will be knitting together.
Here is another picture.  Can you guess what it will be?  Write you guess in the comments.  If you are the first to get it right, you will win 2 skeins of "Hooked" Cotton Yarn ($30 value), to make your own???  No need to be an attending member of our "Knit Night" group.  If you are the winner, I'll send a copy of the pattern to you, along with the yarn.  [I can only mail to those in the continental USA.]  Happy Knitting . . . . . . 

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!