2009 in finished knits*

except for the few (ok, not so few, but its somewhat close to 10) that haven’t been photographed yet. (I’m getting there! Look for a week of FO’s. its coming, and its gonna be scary.) 2009 was a very prolific knitting year for me. 58 knitting projects on rav. going through flickr there where

11 pairs of socks (really?)
FO: muddy nutkins

7 (one not pictured) pairs of mittens/fingerless mitts

FO necessary mitts

11 cowls/scarfs/shawls

FO: Cathy's hug

7 hats

FO: Unoriginal  hat

5 (one not pictured) baby/child knits

FO's: lil blue sweater and iolite surprise

16 (7 not pictured)  softies/mini’s


12 sweaters/vests

12 sweaters of 2009

I’ve come a long way since fun fur scarves seven (7!!!) years ago, now I’m designing my own patterns. I have quite a few written up for free here (but you already know that if you’ve been following me for awhile). I have a few designing goals for myself for 2010, I plan on writing up more of my patterns and am feeling like my patterns might be polished enough to sell! My other goal is to learn to steek, yes this will be the year. No if ands or butts about it, this will be the year. I’m going to try to participate in a year in pictures on flickr. And hopefully get my crafty butt in gear and maybe be more prolific and start doing craft shows again, maybe I’m not sure. And ya I’m going to attempt to knit some of the stash. No yarn diet per say, but I wonder how much of the yarn I bought from 2009 and older I can use up. These may sound like a lot of goals, but really they are things that are going to end up happening naturally in my life, well most of it anyway.

lots of peaches

2009 wasn’t a bad year it was definitely a crafty one, I canned more. Preserved peaches for the first time, frozen some green beans and peas, also made jam again for the first time in a few years. I became a better spinner this year, still not great but certainly better. It’s still sad to see another year slip by. Goodbye 2009, and here’s to 2010. You all have my best wishes for a lovely year. Its sure to be a good one.

Now where the frick is my flying car?

PS Mike, his brother and his brother’s helper are finishing up the mudroom today. They have insulated it and I believe they are almost done putting up the walls. There is a strange burned sawdust smell in my kitchen (which leads into the mudroom). I’m really looking forward to the extra storage out there but I really, really want the cubbies in the kitchen for all of us.
PPS I’m not sure if I’m going to make it to midnight tonight. Mike got home late last night from a day trip he had to take. Sometimes its hard to go back to sleep after I’ve been woken up.  Boy I hope I can make it to midnight!


a semi-handmade holiday…

it seems that for me it’s easier to make handmade presents for adults. Much easier. I do make things for my children, for the past two years I’ve made their yearly ornaments for the tree. (When I was born my mothers older sister started giving me ornaments every year for Christmas, and when I had my own tree it was wonderful to have my own set of ornaments filled with memories of her and my Uncle. So from when Corra was born I have started giving my children each an ornament, every year, so when they have their own tree’s they also have their own ornaments.) But when it comes to making presents for them, I don’t at least not for Christmas. Maybe it’s because it would be hard to hide making them, I do have four children after all. And I never seem to get my crafting act together before late November and there certainly isn’t enough time to knit or craft that much and sleep. This year my gift list was smaller since Allysa is no longer in pre-school, (that takes 2-3 items of the list).  Now this  year, cause I procrastinated a ton, I didn’t give myself enough time to order yarns. I wish I could have knit a few things outta of different yarn, however I found some great lovely’s in the stash (aka my personal yarn store) which makes me so very happy, cause if you use stash you gotta replace it!

I started asking my kids teachers what their favorite colors where and the color of their jackets in October, which yes I did start this early however I didn’t act one it. Allysa’s teacher said she loved purples, pinks and blue. She said she liked her winter accessories to be bold and colorful.

Happy Fun cowl

this happy fun cowl totally fits the bill. She swooned when she opened it. All the details here on rav.  By the way, Bryce is “smiling with his eyes”, right looks like the stink eye to me. And he WANTED to be the model. Ok, his choices where limited either take pictures (which he finds frustrating) or be he model.  Bryce’s teacher, oh the poor woman. She’s pretty strict and there have been some hard times so far this year. My son is no angel and anyone who has to decipher his scrawl (his hand writing kills me) deserves a wonderful present.

twisty fingerless mitts

all the details raveled here. I do have to tell you that I assed this pattern up good three times before I finally understood what the designer wrote.  Then after I started over the third time, worked 3 cable repeats I saw that I twisted the second cable wrong. At that point I was so ticked off I didn’t want to drop all those stitches and re-work them. Instead I twisted one cable to the left and the next to the right. Its a design element damnit. It’s Corra’s last year in elementary school and she loves her teacher. A few weeks ago I knit a new hat for Corra (that hasn’t quite made it to the blog or rav for that matter…) her teacher saw it and commented on how cute it is.

blue slouchy hat

details here on rav. Took me awhile to find a stash yarn for this one. I didn’t have time to go to a yarn shop, no time at all to order yarn online. I really need a bulky yarn, so I held a aran weight yarn together (knitting with two strands) which thankfully worked and the hat is cute! Now it wasn’t until last year when Corra started playing the flute (she switched to the clarinet a few months after playing the flute) how hard a music teachers job really is and if you have ever heard a group of 3rd graders play a recorder you know these people have to really, really love their jobs.

Picture 2820

we really love her. All the details here on rav. The nurse too, since my kids see her quite a bit,  and she was leaving for a different job we gifted her an extra special gift,

sweet treats!

another jane market bag and a dozen homemade marshmallows, inspired by Zarah’s homemade marshmallows that she blogged about last year. The nurse wasn’t the only one to get some yummy (really these are too good to be so easy!) marshmallows the secretaries up front received some as well as some hot cocoa mix in a fabric gift tote.

hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows

And to round everything out a stupid sock creature named Marley

sweet little Marley
who accompanied some masrhmallows in our gift to the principal. I’m sure he was thinking what the heck is this thing when he opened that up!

That was it for the handmade presents this year, well of course the ornaments that I made for my family. Since I can’t find my camera (again) that will wait for another day.

PS. I lost my camera three times in the past week.
PPS. probably because I never put it away where it belonged…
PPPS. I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas. 🙂
PPPPS. Totally forgot about this,
gift swap package
one more pic here on flickr. Small little bag for Corra’s $3 class gift exchange, its very hard to find a nice gift for such little money. Adding a sweet little bag makes it so much nicer. Don’tya think?

handmade ornament

so last night was my GS leader Christmas party. Just the adult leaders attend, we have a nice dinner, talk about our neighborhoods upcoming cookie sale. Since I started leading three years ago we’ve had a themed swap. For the past two years it was Holiday socks, remember the gift I made for last year’s party? Harold was a big hit, being passed around so everyone could see him. I was already plotting for this years swap gift. Wee tiny handknit socks, the group kept declaring that I should knit a pair of sock for the swap, but how can you do that when there are 8 people who can possibly receive your present and they all have different size feet. Wee little socks fit everyone right?
Then everyone went and changed the theme from socks to ornaments. Frick. Wait, no, wee tiny little socks would still work I thought, wouldn’t they? I could put them in a clear ornament ball

handmade, handknit ornament

and top it with a velvet holly leaf, and added a tag which I gold embossed. In the end I had a finished product that I just lurve, so much that I made a second one and am thinking about putting it up on etsy.

handmade, handknit ornament
There are more pictures here on flickr.

My friend who is my assistant leader kept telling me that she really hoped that she got my present. This year we played a new game, instead of the usual Lefty the elf poem, we all picked a piece of garland out of a basket and whoever had the same length of garland we exchanged our gift with. There was a bit of surprise there because whoever had the shortest piece got to pick who she wanted to swap with. Guess who’s package she picked? You guessed it,

wee red mittens

mine! I’m starting to think I’ve built a reputation. ; )
both the ornament and wee little mittens where raveled here and here.

PS my parents are visiting this weekend, they brought their sweet little puppy with them, who is my new bff it seems.
Guess who's here!

FO: vestish

in my desperate attempt to catch up in my unblogged, unphotographed, and yet totally loved finished objects, here is the story of vestish. It starts back in the Spring of ’08 with the release of the Spring knitty. Totally fell in love with honeycomb, but was sorely lacking any dk weight yarn in my stash at that time. (That problem has been dutifully solved, now the only weight lacking is bulky. Which will be rectified too, because my goal is to have my own personal yarn shop.) Now I was looking around for yarn that I wanted to use, then Diane went and knit one out of dream in color classy. I got to see it in person at Soar, and after that I knew that I had to knit one for myself…

FO: vestish

and then I thought about all those little cables repeated quite frequently across the vest. And my dislike of cabling without a cable needle… lets just say I wasn’t in the moood for cabling.  I picked up 2 hanks of this awesome blue (deep seaflower) during a trip to Natural Stitches. Soon after I purchased the dream in color classy I saw Lolly’s cedar vest and fell in love with the texture.  Thought why not some alternating rib? It has a good texture, and easy to knit.

FO: vestish

After a few hours of looking through many stitch dictionaries, and doing some math calculations I came up with my cast on number and started. Knit and knit, and then once I had a few inches I tried it on. Well now, lets just say I forgot how much give ribbing has along with negative ease. Off to the frog pond and cast on again with a smaller number this time remembering to calculate ease. (duH) Basically I was knitting on the fly, I kept some notes which I hope might help someone. Really if it wasn’t for other knitting blogs I don’t think I would be where I am with my knitting today. Anyway,

here are my notes, or unpattern if you will.

Vest to fit 32-33″ bust, ribbing has enough stretch to accommodate up to 36″ however you might want to add more length, because when knitting is stretched width wise it loses length.
needles- I used US 8 (5mm)
yarn- Dream in color classy 1.25 skeins in deep seaflower
gauge- 5sts/inch x 7 rows/inch in pattern
stitch holder or extra circular needle to hold stitches.

stitch pattern- alternating 2×2 rib
rounds 1,2,3,&4- *k2, p2, rep from*
round 5- *knit 2 stitches tog and leave stitch on left hand needle, knit first stitch and slip both stitches off needle together, p2, rep from*
rounds 6,7,8,9 &10- *p2,k2, rep from*
round 11- *p2, knit 2 stitches tog and leave stitch on left hand needle, knit first stitch and slip both stitches off needle together, rep from*
round 12- *k2,p2, rep from*

CO 112, knit 1.5″ of k2, p2. Start stitch pattern. Knit 7 repeats, more if you want. (My vest is a little short, I probably should have knit one more repeat.) After you’ve knit the amount of repeats that you want to, knit the next 6 rows as in pattern.

FO: vestish

row 7- BO 6 stst at the beginning of the row, knit the next 56 sts in pattern, put remaining stitches on hold (stitches on hold are the front of the vest). You’ll be working back and forth now, not in the round. Because of this you when working a wrong side row you’ll have to change the purls to knits and the knits to purls. So they look right on the right side.
row 8- BO 6sts, knit as in pattern to end.
row 9- BO 4 sts, knit in pattern to end.
row 10- BO 4 sts knit in pattern to end.
row 11 and 1- BO 2 knit in pattern to end.
row 12 and 2- BO 2 knit as in pattern to end.
Continue knitting in pattern for 2 more repeats, knit to row 6 in pattern than place 8sts on hold, BO 18sts, knit and than place 8sts on hold. Leave a long tale and cut working yarn.

FO: vestish

working with the stitches that where placed on hold, again you’ll be working back and forth so change the purls to knits, and knits to purls on the wrong side rows again. At this point, I’m leaving it up to you to figure out where you are in the stitch pattern. This isn’t as hard as it sounds.
row 1- (in pattern) BO 4sts, knit 12 as in pattern than place on hold for right front strap.
Front left strap- (18 sts total) with a new ball of yarn, BO 22, k12 as in pattern.
next row BO 2, knit 10 as in pattern, next row BO 2, knit 8 in pattern.
Knit 1 pattern repeat (I should have knit 1.5 so my arm holes where deeper, They are fine however a bit snug under a button down shirt.) than, 4 rows of pattern, cut long tail, graft these stitches with the ones that you put on hold for the left back. Repeat for the other side using the ball that’s attached. Weave in ends, marvel at your knitting awesomeness. And be shocked at how skinny and long the vest looks.

FO: vestish

Started June 4 2009, Completed June 12 2009 9th nakniswemodo.  I need more vests.  Anyway, enjoy my unpattern if you knit it please let me know. If you have any questions about it, or find any errors drop me a line. mistress_stash_enhancer (at) yahoo (dot) com

PS.  my parents are coming to visit this weekend and the playroom/guest room (aka pull out couch from hell) is a disaster zone.
PPS. My whole house feels like a disaster zone and looks like it belongs on an episode of cops.
PPPS ok, its not that bad. but all the empty boxes of Christmas decorations that need to go up into the attic are making me feel closed in. And the kitchen floor needs moped.
PPPPS. And yet I’m here blogging. Go figure.
PPPPPS. Mike will eventually turn this into a PDF for me, until then copy and paste the pattern notes into word and print from there. Also,
copyright Amanda Cathleen Morgan 2009. Pattern is for personal, non-commercial use only. Do not reproduce the pattern for distribution, sale or any other purpose with out written permission from the designer. Finished items may not be sold. Pictures, patterns, text and content are the sole property of Amanda Cathleen Morgan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any part of this pattern is strictly prohibited.
PPPPPPS my blog is snowing 🙂

it must be somebody’s birthday!

streamers, presents,

streamers and presents,

cool cupcakes too,

frog cupcakes

it must be somebody’s birthday!

birthday boy

Happy Birthday Bryce! You’ve grown so much, you are becoming such a sweet young man. You will never cease to amaze me with your building and math skillz. Your a thoughtful and kinda little guy, I love you,  xxoo Mommy.

PS. when I was looking at the current issue of family fun, I saw these awesome frog cupcakes and knew they would be perfect for B’s birthday. I changed them up a little bit, only because I can’t leave well enough alone. Instead of using white chocolate chips for the eyes, I purchased candy eyes at a local party store. (I would have purchased them from Bake It Pretty, but I didn’t have enough time for shipping.  Still I ordered meself some pretty dusting sugars, sprinkles, and cookie cutters (like I *need* more of them, I do however *need* a gnome and squirrel cookie cutter!) I purchased a bag of red and green holiday spice gumdrops, because it was all I could find, but the red ones ended up making super cute tongues.  This is what I did frosted my cupcakes green,  cut the green gumdrops in half, added a candy eye by using a toothpick and a small amount of frosting. Tinted a small amount of frosting black (which will end up gray, because it takes for.ever. to make a true black and it doesn’t taste all that great when you add that much coloring to it, go ahead ask me how I know) used a #4 wilton decorating tip for the mouth and (thanks to Corra great idea!) added half a red gumdrop for a tongue. One some of the cupcakes I used the gray icing to make little bugs (also a Corra idea).  Here is a link to another pic that shows the bugs.  Bryce was super surprised and was thrilled that he has an army of frog cupcakes to take to school with him today.
PPS. Last night I was totally kicking myself for starting a tradition so many years ago, of hanging streamers in the living room in the birthday kids choice colors. This morning however when all the kids saw them, and Bryce was like wohh! It made dragging out the ladder and perching precariously on the back of the sofa very much worth the effort.
PPPS. Bryce totally cracked me up when he pulled this huge ziplock bag out of his pocket after he opened his first present (he gets to open the rest when he comes home from school). The kid had a plan. He was taking his new lego’s to school so he could play with them at recess!
PPPPS. I can’t stop looking at all the fun cupcake idea’s on family fun’s website…. can’t.stop.looking!