Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A New Plan


The other day while I was visiting my LYS the owner showed me a pair of thrummed mittens one of her customers had made. Now I had only read about them and seen pictures online, so to put my hand inside and feel how soft and warm they were was quite a thrill! I instantly wanted to make them, but I didn’t know how or think I had the skill to take on such a task.  I put the idea out of my head, and
purchased my other stuff and promply left.  However, the mitten kept popping in my mind over the weekend, so I went to the ravelry site to see if there was a pattern I could look at to convince myself that I could not make these.  I found one....but it turned out not to look to bad.  I like a little learning curve in my knitting, and this looks like it is just the thing.

Back in 2004, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) had a thrum-along on her blog.  I read through it, and figured that I could do this...I'm brave (or at least pretend to be on occasions).  All I had to do now was find some roving, but where would I get that?  I called around, but no one seemed to carry it which dissapointed me terribly!  We live in the north, it gets COLD here!!!  How could no one carry this??  Thrummed mittens should be a staple in every man, woman and child's wardrobe.  Well on Sunday night when I went out for coffee with the owner of my LYS, I happened to mention that I wanted to give these a try but was having a hard time locating the necessary supples.  Well low and behold, she said that she carried everything I would need!  I 'bout jumped out of my chair I was so excited.  So first thing Monday morning (after I had my coffee of course, I can't be expected to pick out nice colours when I can't even see now can I?) I ran out to her shop and bought all this:

Went a little overboard??  I know, but I came up with the perfectly brilliant plan that every person on my Christmas List needs a pair! (see previous comment about staple wardrobe piece)  What could be better than something pretty and practical??  I'm hoping to get started on a pair right soon as I finish these socks...yes I said sister's boyfriend is actually going to get his birthday socks soon...or at least I's amazing what loud voices that roving has! 

 Hope you all are having a happy knitting day!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Charity Knitting

Hello All,

My sister and I are taking a little trip this week while she is on vacation, so I wanted to let you know that the posts over the next little bit might be a little short and far between.  I'm looking forward to spending some quality girl time with her.  We haven't had a chance to see each other much lately, so we've got lots of catching up to do!    

Now on to today's post.  I have been wanting to do some charity knitting for quite a while now, but I always have trouble finding the time.  So I came up with the idea of setting aside my Sunday knitting time just for that purpose.  I thought that since Sundays are the Lord's day, I should use that time for doing something that will honour Him.  He teaches us that we should take care of those who are less fortunate than us, so this is my way of doing that.   

My first project is a pair of red mittens for a child.  I started them yesterday, and I got one done except for the thumb and started on the cuff of the second.  The yarn is Patons Classic Wool Merino in Bright Red and the pattern I used is the Basic Mitten from Betty Christiansen's book Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time.  I love this book because it has some great patterns as well as stories and information on different charities and how you can contribute to them. 

I thought I'd make Mondays my show-and-tell day to update you on the progress of whatever charity project I'm working on.  If you'd like, you can even join me in dedicating Sundays for your charity knitting and leave a comment, or a link to your blog if you have a picture there, to update me how your projects are coming along.  I think we could all set aside a little time once a week, or even once a month to knit for those who really need something warm and comforting.  Nothing does the heart good like knowing you brought a smile to someone else's face.   

Well I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are getting a good start on this week.  I'm off to make my packing list and tie up a few loose ends before we leave. 

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby Set

Hello Everyone,

I'm finally starting to feel better, and thought I'd show you something that I've been up to. 
I finished the white seamless yoked baby sweater!!  I completed it at the beginning of the week.  It started out as just a sweater for my sister's co-worker, but then I thought it looked a little lonely.  So I decided to make a matching hat, booties and mittens.  Since this little one is coming in November, I wanted him/her to be warm!

I'm quite happy with how it all turned out, and the mom-to-be loved it, which is the most important thing! 

Well I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, I'm off to finish up a scarecrow I've been working on.  Pictures to come soon!!  :-)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Need Some Rest

Hello All,

So sorry I haven't been around!  I've been sick, so I'm taking a few days off to recover.  I just wanted to let you all know so that you don't think I just fell off the face of the earth!  I do have a nice FO to show you when I'm back.  I hope everyone is having a lovely week, and I will be back soon...hopefully! 

Take care

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is It That Time of Year Already??

Hello All,

This is going to be a short post since I'm swamped right now trying to get things done, but I wanted to let you all know that I'm still here.  :-)  I think the days seem to be getting shorter and shorter because I keep running out of time! 

I've noticed that Fall is here, I've accepted it.  The temperature has dropped and that "crispness" is in the air.  The leaves are starting to change and a few have already begun to fall.  I've been trying to ignore it and hang on to the last threads of Summer, but there's no denying it, it's here.  No one else in my house has accepted this; they are all waiting for the "official" first day of Autumn on the 22nd.  They won't even let me hang up the new wreath I bought for the back door!  I must admit, I love Fall decorating, the colours are just too much fun.

This time of year signals to me that it is "time to begin Christmas Gift making".  And I will be honest with you, this year, that phrase is making my go weak in the knees.  I have no idea what to make for everyone!  Not a clue!  I want to make gifts that are adorable, practical and economical all at the same time.  I was hoping to do a lot of stash busting, but alas, I have no idea where to start. So far I have 20 people on my list ranging from the very young to the very old.  They are all quite diverse as well, so it's hard to find the right gifts for each one.  I love the idea of having gifts that are very personalized.  I want to make sure that the person will love and use the gift I'm giving them.  I have been going over ideas for the last two weeks, and still I have come up empty handed.  If anyone has any advice for me, I'd greatly appreciate it!  How do all these other women do it??  It's a mystery to me!

Well, I should be off and back to work, I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and thank goodness the weekend starts tomorrow!! 

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A FO and Some Links

Hello All,

I have a finished object picture for you. It is the Smocked Sundress from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing. I had a lot of fun making this. It is an easy project, once you get the elastic thread onto the bobbin and loaded properly. I made it a tad smaller than the one in the book. I was thinking of it for a baby about 6-12 months. The sizes in the book were 12 months to size 4. It wasn't hard to make the adjustments since she includes guidelines for making it fit your intended wear. You can even make an adult version of this. Heather has a pattern for it on her website. I think that would be really great for just lounging around, or running to town in the Summer. I'll have to keep it in mind for next year. As I've said before, her book is a great one; I highly recommend it.

I have some links for you of things I've come across that I thought you might like to check out:

These are adorable!! I think anyone who makes handmade gifts has to have them. If you head on over to her blog she's having a give-away for a box of these right now.
I'd love to have these hanging on my tree this year.
I made this on the weekend, and it was a huge hit. I used 3 oz. semi-sweet choc. and 1 oz. bittersweet choc.
This is great. I seen ones like this on the runways at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NY.
Perfect for your end-of-season jam making.

Well, I hope you are all having a great start to your week!! I'll be back soon with some more pictures.

Take care!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Knitting Inspiration

Hello All,

So sorry I haven't been around this past week. I've been not feeling the best, and things have been a bit busy here. I'm hoping to get more time to blog from now on, but I can't make any guarantees. I'd really love to though.

Now I know I promised some project pictures but my sister took my camera to work to take some pictures of her new office for me to see. We are going to work on decorating it together! Yay!! But that means that the project pictures are going to have to wait till I get it back. Sorry about that!! I was really looking forward to showing you what I've been up to. But hopefully by the time I get it back, I'll have a few more projects done and I can show you those too.

Yesterday, while in the city, I picked up the new Fall/Winter Debbie Bliss magazine. I'm so inspired by it, I hardly have words. The patterns, the yarns, everything is amazing. The photographs are stunning, and truly inspiring. I can hardly wait to make something from it. I also picked up the Fall Vogue Knitting magazine. The sweaters in it are remarkable. I was just blown away by the beauty of them. The colours: amber, cranberry, moss, pumpkin and russet are sensational. I just love it. It makes me wish I was a more experienced knitter so I could make all these gorgeous sweaters.

It feels like Fall to me today. It's still quite warm out, but the leaves are starting to change and fall off. It makes me feel like knitting cozy things, making savory meals and warm desserts. I do love those things about Fall, but I think what I don't like is that it means Winter is coming next! That's something I'm totally not ready for.

Well I should be off to work on things...I need to get the ball rolling this morning. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Take care!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Lowdown On the 'Vacation'

Hello All,

Well where should I begin?? I promised I would re-cap our little 'vacation,' so here it goes:

Tuesday we had to be out of the house by 8:30 am, because that was when the floor man was coming to start sanding. I had packed most of our stuff the night before since I'm so not a morning person. Mom drove me and the Emmie (the little dog) over to the old house we were staying at, then she went back to pick up Cassie (the lab), and Mittens (our rather large cat). While she was gone, I drug a lot of stuff upstairs and started to put things away. A little while later, Mom came back and said that she had a little accident with the kitty litter box, and somehow had spilled pee all down the front of her (and even into her shoe) when she was trying to get it out of the bathroom, so we needed to go to the store to get some new litter. We all got in the car, including the cat (he was in a carrier) and drove into town. Cassie went nuts, barking and whining, as soon as we got there. It was so bad that while in the bank, Mom said she could hear her inside! I was so embarrassed!! Finally we left and went back. By this time I was in desperate need of some coffee, so I put a pot on and we enjoyed some time sitting out in the front porch. After awhile, it started to get a bit more damp and cold out and the wind picked up. We heard a big bang from upstairs so we thought we should check on the cat (who was locked into the bathroom up there so he wouldn't run away). Mom went in there to check and came out all panicked because she couldn't find him, so I went in to look and found him squeezed underneath the tub, he was perfectly fine, thankfully. The noise was from one of the upstairs window's had blown open. On the way out of the bathroom, I tried to shut the door but it wouldn't latch (yes, it was so old that it didn't have a knob, but a latch thing, that was really quite complicated). Mom tried it, but when she got it latched the latch-lifter part fell inside the bathroom, so now we had locked the cat in there and couldn't get it open from the outside! We had to drive all the way home to get a knitting needle to lift the latch to get him out. Once we got back and had gotten the dogs to settle down, Mom happened to notice that her lap was wet, I guess Emmie had peed on her while sitting on her knee. So we had to drive all the way home again for her to change. While we were there, we noticed that the sander wasn't very loud and thought that the cat could come back for the time being since he was not enjoying himself being squeezed under the tub in fear. We went back and picked him up and took him home, where he really did seem much happier. We went back to the place and had some lunch, then about an hour later, Mom noticed that Emmie had peed on her a second time! She wanted to go back home to change again. But by this time the rain and wind had increased making it quite cold, even inside since it is a bit drafty in there, what with it being old and all. So we decided we would pack things up and head back home. We found out that morning that we could still sleep in our house until he started to put the finish on the floors which wouldn't be for about four days, and boy can I tell you, I have never been so happy to get back to my own home before!! Trying to get the dogs to settle down there was unbelievable, so it was such a relief to go home where they were use to being.

This is a picture of our kitchen all plastic-wrapped.

The next few days, we spent either upstairs in our rooms, or downstairs in the basement. We couldn't walk on the floors while he was sanding, but we could after he left in the evening, however, the dogs couldn't. It all worked out though because we had a way for them to get inside and outside without going near the floors. The only problem was, that in order to get from upstairs to the basement, you had to either go out the front door and around the house outside and come in the basement door, or climb over the banister, down onto the library table, then onto the desk, then jump by the dinning room table (all this stuff is in the entrance way) down onto the floor which from there you could go down the stairs. During these few days, I got to finish some projects (there will be pictures to come in the next few days). It was good for me to be stuck in my room all day, because it forced me to work. I might have to keep that in mind when I have my next deadline looming!

By Saturday afternoon, he was ready to put the first coat of finish on, so Mom and I took the dogs and went for a drive, which I must admit was quite the thing because Cassie would not settle in the car and just kept barking and whining. We couldn't go back to the old resort because there were other people staying there and we didn't think they would appreciate the dogs running around. After a few hours, we thought we should go back home and feed the dogs and check on the smell. We were hoping it didn't smell too much so that we could sleep in our rooms because we really had no other plan. Well, needless to say, it stunk so incredibly bad. The fumes were so thick, that when you walked into the entrance way, you could actually feel them. It definitely ruled out sleeping in our rooms. We took the cat (who had been shut in the upstairs bathroom with a towel in front of the door) because we didn't want him staying in the smell, and we went back out for another drive. We went and got some dinner, then sat out by the bridge to think of what we could do for sleeping arrangements. Sadly, the only thing that we could come up with was to sleep in our garage. It has a heater, and all the furniture was already in there, so it seemed like the only logical place to stay. I must admit that I never thought I would sleep in a garage, but it really wasn't all that bad. It was sort of like camping I guess, if I had ever been camping, which I haven't. We have a freezer in there, and used a cooler with ice as a fridge for our food, and both Mom and I had our own couches to sleep on, Cassie had a chair, Mittens had his free roam of the place, and Emmie slept on the couch with Mom. We had to spend two nights out there. It was definitely an experience. The only downfall, was that since the china cabinet inside the house was pushed up against the door that leads from the garage into the house, we had to use the garage side door and go across the deck to the side door on the house to get in. We had to do this even in the night (and I must say that those were two of the coldest nights of the whole summer) when we needed to use the bathroom...not too fun.

That is our food station, and our you can see we even brought the tea kettle.

This is Cassie sleeping in her chair.

This is Mittens, doesn't he look relaxed??

All in all, it wasn't really a 'vacation' but it was ok. I wouldn't do it again, but it was better than it could have been I'm sure. Being able to stay in our house for most of the days was very nice, and the garage really wasn't all that bad.

This is Emmie, she is looking over the back of the couch at me. Isn't she cute??

Well, I will be back soon with some pictures of some projects, until then, please enjoy yourselves and have a wonderful Labour Day weekend!!

Take Care!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back...But Still Busy!!

Hello All,

I am back from our "vacation" but things around here are still going to be a bit hectic for the next couple of days. I have lots to post about (wait till you hear how the week really went!), plus some pictures of some finished projects!! Yay!! I am planning on updating you all closer to the weekend, once things get more back to normal. I hope you all had a great weekend, and that everyone is getting themselves back in to the swing of things now that school has started. I hate to say it, but once school starts, I always feel like it's the beginning of Fall. :0) Have a great week all, and talk to you in a few days!!


P.S. Here is a great site that has tips for getting yourself (and your family) organized. They also have a line of products with Franklin Covey that look quite handy. I ordered myself a few things this afternoon! There is nothing like starting off the Fall a little bit more organized! :o)