somewhat homemade holidays, after the holiday. *ahem*

grr, my computer powered down and my draft wasn’t saved! Why is it when you try to re-write something it never seems better than the last. Anyway…

Merry after Christmas! It went by fast this year, faster than it has in previous years. Granted it might have been because of all the things we had to do, Corra was sick for a bit. Which made for some good crafting time, not so much for secret shopping time. There where lots of things that I finished off my list, still some that didn’t get done. But that’s ok.
10 done (9 pictured) wire votive sleeves
I said that I wanted to make 12 of these wire votive sleeves from Handknit holidays, but after the 9th one I coulda died. It almost killed me to knit the 10th, after that I couldn’t knit anymore. I used 26 gauge wire in silver, green and gold some beads from my stash and some purchased. Made a few using US8’s but after a while decided to switch to US10’s. I gifted off 9 of them and kept one for myself
raveled.
Now these cute little sweater ornaments seem so innocent in the beginning, I made one for a old friend of Mike’s who works at my kids school. She commented me on the kids lovely sweaters and asked for her own.
sweater for Susie
raveled.
I don’t think its quite what she meant, but she got her handknit sweater! There was a lady that I told about the cute little sweater ornament, she asked to see it, so I made one for her. They are so quick and cute I couldn’t help it!
sweater for Dorothy
raveled.
Once I got started on them I couldn’t stop and knit a swarm for the kids, Mike and I. I thought it would be best to make them ornaments this year instead of purchasing them, since we made ornaments for our tree.
swarm of mini sweaters
raveled.
pattern: Cheers! By Cheryl Niamath linky here
needle: US 3’s (3.25mm)
yarns: light green is leftover Cascade 220, white is Lionbrand fisherman’s wool and the rest is Knitpicks swish.
Used pipe cleaners for the hangers, and for the ones I gifted a way clicky here to see how I packaged them.

There was a touch of sewing done too which is quite unusual for me. My machine and I don’t always see eye to eye and the bobbin loves the taste of fabric. Corra had a gift exchange and I picked up a pack of chapstick but felt like there should be more to the gift. I made 2 bags from bend the rules sewing (just what I needed to get back into sewing, fab book!) and let Corra choose which bag she wanted to gift away.
clutchyblue bag

click on the pics for more info, Corra ended up gifting the bag with handles to one of her friends, so I’ll have to make her another one.
Finished the stupid sock creature for Corra’s teacher
Say hello Irving
along with another mini-sweater ornament to go with it. Click on the pick to read what was on Irving’s tag. Irving was well received and has to be my fav creature to date. I inadvertently made another sock monster to keep,
Astare
Astare was intended for Corra’s teach, but Astare is a little, well.. lets just leave it at that. He was meant to live with us.
Well now, this post is long enough. There are still a few things that I made but am going to save for another post. Hopefully my next update will be tomorrow not in 3 weeks!

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Can I keep it?

I guess its a good sign of a good handmade gift when you done making it you want to keep it something fierce? It all started with this absolutely yummy yarn from Canada, handmaiden casbah. mmm! This stuff is a joy to knit with, so soft and yummy! I did however find one knot while knitting, someone that seems to have become more and more common with many yarns. Anyway, once I got this yarn in the mail, I knew it would be perfect for my son’s teacher. She has to deal with my darling child all day, she deserves something really good. Don’t get my wrong, I love my son. I do however wonder if he will continue to run through the house when he’s in his 20’s…. Anyway, We talked a bit before Thanksgiving about colors and coats. I’m not well known for my ability to be subtle!  After browsing through my raverly queue, grabbing my needles and a few days of knitting this lovely came off my needles:
cowly goodness for Bryce's teach
modeled by Corra

pattern: Abby by Amy R Singer published in the Fall 2008 knitty
yarn: 1/2 skein Handmaiden Casbah Sock in the Novia Scotia colorway
needles: US 5 (3.75mm) Honestly I thought they where 6’s for a few rows. Once I realized (ok, admitted) they where 5’s I wasn’t going back. The fabric it created is perfectly drapey! 6’s might have been too big for this yarn.
time: think I casted on Nov 24 and finished Nov 28 but I lost my notes. Again.
length: I knit 8 repeats making the cowl 10″ long, its about 16″ around. It’s perfect.
my favorite thing? It.is.reversible. Inside and Outside.

I so want to keep it.

Something blue, in Koigu

I know its only been a little more than a week since my last post. I’ve finished 2 sweaters in the month of September and I’m still not sure how to write about them. I love them both so much! (Both the sweaters and the recipients.) Its also been a wee bit crazy around here.  I thought that I would share a little about the last pair of socks that I finished, for my dear friend Diane.
toes
Diane and I “met” 2 years ago during the August Birthday Swap. I was Diane’s pal. After the swap Diane asked me if I would want to continue swapping pressies for Christmas and Birthdays. I was all over that, what could you love more than presents from another country! Diane has sent me so many wonderful presents, and a pair of socks too! Since I flaked on her last Christmas I thought she deserved an extra special present. So I dug through my sock yarn stash and this blue koigu spoke to me. This was after I finished my February lady sweater and I was missing the rhythm of the lace.

lace detail

This isn’t quite a sock pattern, I would call it more of a recipe.
Yarn- 2 hanks of Koigu (KPPPM)
Needles- set of US 1 (2.25mm) double pointed needles
gauge- pretty sure it was 8.5sts/inch but I can’t read my own writing.
CO 64sts, K2, P2 for 15 rows.
This bit is a bit confusing to explain. I had 16sts on each needle and I wanted the ribbing to flow into the lace pattern so I moved the first stitch on the next needle over (so my stitches where like this P1, K2, P2, K2, P1on each needle). Then I started the lace, oh the lace!
row 1: *p1, k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1* repeat to end.
rows 2 & 4: *p1, k7* repeat to end
row 3: *p1, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk* repeat to end.
I knit 18 pattern repeats before starting the heel. Work any heel that you like, I used a short row. (See what I mean by recipe now?)
Now for the instep I didn’t want lace. Personally for myself I like to wear shoes that show off my handknit socks and socks that are lacy aren’t a good choice to wear with those types of shoes especially during January in Western Pennsylvania. I don’t know much about London’s weather, but I hear its rainy and a little cold at times. Frankly, I envisioned the instep to be a little different from the calf and I didn’t want the whole sock to be lacy. Anway the instep, move 1 sts from needle 3 onto needle 2.
On needles 1 and 2: *p1, k7* repeat for a total of 4 times p1.
On needles 3 and 4 knit. Repeat till your about 2.5″ from end. (I like to knit my socks till the sock touches to almost the tip of of my pinky toe) Work your favorite toe.
FO Something blue, in Koigu
Now, if I where to knit these again. During rows 3 & 4 of the lace pattern I would just knit them, it would look a tad different. But it would be so much faster, no counting!  Same thing on the foot, I would knit every other row. Also, a k1, p1 rib probably would have blended into the lace pattern a bit better. I worked a k2,p2 because, well for no better reason than I felt like it and a 1×1 rib felt to fiddly. (Fickle knitter here.)  If you like this recipe and want to make this sock bigger simply add more purl stitches.
I enjoyed knitting these socks for Diane, its been so long since I’ve knit a pair of socks using Koigu and they are so soft and even feel a bit silky. They where sooo hard to mail off, its a good thing that her foot is just a wee bit smaller than my own. Diane, I’m glad to see that your loven your socks and that they fit! To everyone else I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you happen to knit a pair of socks from it, or if you find a mistake let me know. Enjoy!

hello, mojo….

sock mojo that is. For so long my sock mojo was fazzizalled, cuput, nada, zip. It was hibernating, and I’m so thankful it wasn’t dead. Back in December I started these socks for my sister-in-law Kelly. Just a vanilla sock, with a short cuff. Nothing big. She wanted something that would match her work clothes tan and blue. I saw Sheepaints at the Sweetsheep and got a hank in the surf colorway. I wound it up into one big ball and then split it into two smaller ones….
Good sock, bad sock
raveled here
I CO 64sts using a US 1 (2.25mm) and knit 2×2 ribbing for 3.5″ before working the heel and then knit for a bit before working the toe. (I took really good notes, huh?) I knit the sock on the left first, which I will now refer to as “bad sock”. You know sometimes with handpainted yarns you get the funky pooling or flashing. *grumble* All the tan seemed to be on the top and all the blue was on the sole of the bad sock. But the other sock, it was so good and it striped beautifully. And my sock mojo left halfway through the 2nd sock. It languished forever. Before I forced myself to finish it. And I did, sometime in April I think. You know just in time for the nice warm weather… Kelly still was grateful for her socks. She’s so cute. She wants another pair.

My sock mojo came back with abandon in June. I started casting on with abandon. First my inverted Marigold socks
WIP inverted Marigold socks
pattern: Marigold Socks
yarn: socks that rock in medium weight Sunstone colorway
needles: US 1.4 (2.5mm)
notes: I CO 54s, and am working the sock top down. I’ve reversed the chart so my row 1 is row 7 on the chart.
raveled here.

and then for more socks on the go, just in time for GS camp. When I arrived I had only knit about 1/2″ surprisingly there was a fair amount of downtime that I got to knit. Several of the girls watched me for a bit and so did the adults.
WIP socks on the go
pattern, its really more like a recipe. I CO 64sts using US 1 (2.25m) needles knit k2, p2 for 15 rows knit straight until the heel. Either I’ll work a slip stitch heel or a short row. Then knit until I’ve reached about halfway to my pinky toe, then work a standard toe until 16sts remain and graft shut.
yarn: yarntini variegated sock in cosmopolitan that Mike got me from yarn4socks
notes: this sock lives in the car, so it doesn’t see much action.
raveled here.

Even though I have 3 sock WIPs right now I want to cast on for a cowl. But I must finish my secret knitting. Mike and I will be in the car for a while tomorrow as we travel down to Richmond, VA (again.) Hopefully then I can caston for a new project finish my secret knitting…

dreaming, of knitting

It took 8 hours to get to my parents house yesterday. 2 bathroom stops, 7 construction zones, 1 lunch break, 2 snacks, 5 movies, 1 impromptu Old McDonald song, totaling 8 hours of me dreaming of knitting. Usually, I try to stop for gas in Port Jervis because its cheap, and they pump it for you (one good thing about New Jersey). I was so happy to see the lines for the pump, even though it added more time to our trip. Because this gave me time to knit, something I had been dreaming about for 5 1/2 hours. I started knitting away on my secret project,
Something blue, in Koigu!
and while I was getting fuel my window was down and the guy next to me was watching me knit. He asked me “do you do that when your driving?” I told him “No, but it would be very tempting if there wasn’t the risk of impaling myself with all these needles!”
I didn’t get to knit Wednesday night at all. I had lots of ends to weave in, 6 little tiny crochet loops to create and a teeny little baby sweater to block. Crochet is just too fiddly for me, and those loops totally kicked my butt. It wasn’t so much the chaining, it was getting the stupid loops to stay put.
cool as a cucumber
stats-
pattern: Super-natural stripes by fpea
size: 0-6m
for: Adrian’s baby boy… can’t remember his name… maybe Aden?
needles: US 7 (4.5mm) and a size G crochet hook
yarn: a little less than 1 ball of MC Lion Brand cotton ease in Lime
CC1 about 20 yards of cotton ease in Maize
CC2 about 20 yards of cotton ease in Almond
notions: 4 sweet little wooden buttons that I picked up from the Yarn Lounge in Richmond, VA. While I was visiting Mike at work earlier this week. (I’ve been in the car waaay to much this summer.) The buttons measure 1/2″ (1.5cm) and I placed them about 1.5″ apart from each other.
cool as a cucumber, back
mods: I knit this pretty much like the pattern stated. However, I did knit the sleeves before I picked up the button band. I have no idea how to explain this but where the pattern says to knit one row of the CC2 before you knit the button band in the MC. I knit the first and last sts in the MC (green) and the rest in CC2 (almond.) Basically I wanted the white to frame it, I didn’t like the look of the white all they way down on the button band, yes it meant 4 more ends to weave in. Also I crochet 6 chains instead of 8. (My buttons where much smaller than the called for button.)
I want to knit this sweater for Kailey now, the stripes are just too darn cute!

On another knitterly note Sunday my mom and I (sans kiddo’s) will be joining my sister at French Park in North Egremont MA for ‘Egremont on Parade’. Since its late, and my brain hurts drop by my sis’s blog for way more information than I’m giving you. If your going to be in the area, drop by. I’m sure its going to be a wonderful afternoon. Personally, I’m looking forward to 4 hours of peaceful knitting and not having to worry about who is eating sand now…

finished, with time to spare for Softball?

I’m still surprised that I pulled this one off. That I didn’t crash and burn into a big mess, the house is still livable and the health department isn’t knocking down my door. But as Carrie K. pointed out babies are small, and thats a good thing in so many ways!
T H I S Sunday sweater
I finished the T H I S Sunday sweater Saturday morning, sewed on the label and the buttons put it in the washer and dryer and wrapped it up Sunday morning. Just in time.
T H I S Sunday sweater
Pattern stats:
pattern found here
yarn:1.5 balls Lion Brand cotton ease in maize
size: about 6-12 months
needles: US 7
notions: 6 buttons (1 extra for the mom, just in case ; ) by Le Bouton #340 hook 320
started: June 25 2008
finished: June 28 2008
notes: The sweater was very well received. : ) Now, a few notes on the pattern. Its more of a guideline than a pattern. It does tell you how to knit the yoke but thats about it. I knit 4″ of the sleeves before the decreases. I wouldn’t say this is a beginner pattern, but that stitch pattern on the yoke is what drew me in!

Its nice to have the deadline knitting done when you have things to look forward to like a mother daughter softball game. Oyi. Lets just say I don’t suck horribly at sports, but I don’t exactly excel. Click on the photo below to watch a lovely video of me at bat on flickr.
close call
Its a good thing Corra’s much better at softball than I am,

Crap, it’s this Sunday?

Tuesday night while I was at my parents house I realized that I have a baby shower to go to on Sunday.
T H I S Sunday. As in 3 days, T H I S Sunday. So when the kids and I got home Wednesday night I casted on the Seamless Yoke Sweater by Carole Barenys. I’m using Lionbrand cotton ease in Maize from the stash yarn (yay! Mike got this for me a year or so ago) and US size 7’s (4.5mm).
WIP this sunday sweater
I need to finish the body tonight (about 16 more rows). Finish 2 sleeves by Friday night/Saturday. Finish the other sleeve, sew in a tag and buttons. Wash and dry it on Saturday. Wrap it Sunday just in time for the party.
WIP this sunday sweater
Lets hope this works. I would rather be knitting my February Lady Sweater.

Random FO’s

This week is the epitome of crazy. Really, no kidding. I’ll spare you the page long story, ok? I’m just stoked cause I’m going to camp! Ok, Corra is going too. I’m talking about GS camp its only 2 days. But its long enough. I’m super excited even though its what is making my week crazy. But its ok, when I’m busy like this I don’t have time to think. And that’s ok right now. So since my brain feels like toast and I have a few FO’s that I haven’t even talked about started I’m going to throw them right at you and then hopefully catch up on some emails. (Ha. I hear you laughing!)

1. Yurdel *the* turtle
Yurdel the Turtle
click here to see more photo’s on flickr
pattern: Sheldon by Ruth Homrighaus published in Knitty Winter 2006
yarn: light green: Red Heart acrylic in apple green?
dark green some unknown green acrylic
needles: US 3 (3.25mm) and US 4 (3.50mm)
extra’s? 2 safety eyes
time? uhhh.. I think I knit this in April… or May…
for? Mike’s cousin’s baby if I ever find a cute book for a 1 year old about turtles. (I realize that I also have to part with the cuteness that is this turtle.)
ravelry link here

Bauble
Bauble
click here to see another photo on flickr
pattern: bauble by Rosemary Hill published in Knitty Spring 2007
materials: stretch magic cord. Seed beads, white and pink beads that I had and wanted to use up.
needles: US 6 (4.0mm)
time: I might have knit this in January… but I can’t remember!
for? A friend
ravlery link here

Marshmellow
Marshmellow
click here to see more photo’s on flickr
pattern: marshmallow bonnet from itty bitty hats (ravelry link)
size: 6-12m
yarn: Jo-ann sensations bellezza collection tesoro (from the stash) 100% wool
MC 8000 (white) lot 99
CC 954 (pink) lot 56
needles: US 7 (4.50mm)
hook: H (for the loopies)
gauge: 5sts/inch
mods: I crocheted a chain of pink and weaved it in the turning row. Completely inspired by sunshineyarn’s bonnet.
notes: We accidentally left Kailey’s hat at Grandmie C’s house after Thanksgiving dinner. Her dog was a little hungry and chewed off the chin strap. Instead of dipping into another ball of white I used some leftover pink to repair the chin strap on 1/14/08.
Damned dog.
ravlery link here

4 more dishcloths
4 more dishcloths
pattern: Abigail’s fabulous pinwheel dishcloth pattern (lookie in the sidebar)
yarn: Sugar n’ cream or peaches and cream…. (I’m hitting the pitches tonight aren’t I?)
needle: US 8
mods: I CO15 sts to make a smaller dishcloth that fits right into my hand. And by casting on 2 less sts you can get 2 cloths from 1 ball.

That’s it for tonight, I have to hurry up and pack for camp. And my brain is toast!

well now…

…that was a completely unintentional blog break! February was, well a bitch. And I’m glad its over. There where good parts. The kids and I had a somewhat home-made Valentines day. The kids made Valentines for their teachers
Pop! Pop! Pop-u-lar Valentines!
(directions and templates here)

and for their classmates (click on each picture for the details)
Allysa's valentine's
Bryce's colorful Valentine's
Corra's Valentines
I really enjoyed helping the kids with their home-made Valentines. February also with it bought GS cookies. Oyi. Lets just say the cookies didn’t come in on time. Gah. And on the same day, same time. Bryce had his BS ceremony.
Bryce coloring
the only photo I have of him with out any other kids around, and he looks o-so-thrilled.

There has been lots of knitting around these parts, there are at least 2 FO’s that need their photo’s taken. But I finished and gifted my Dad’s socks *cough*inJanuary*cough* click on the photo for more info
Cable twist socks for Dad
I also knit a hat for my hairdresser/babysitter, also click on the picture for more info.
Dusk
sorry, I do need to go to bed soon. The kids have certainly been keeping me super busy. Allysa has been sick off and on since January. She keeps wheezing. She gets sick, wheezes, gets better and it comes freaking back in a week or two. She woke up wheezing very badly last night. I want to share this awesome website with ya’ll. To make a long story short we went to the Dr today. Allysa had a chest x-ray, some blood work (she is an amazing little girl) and we are now proud owners of a breathing machine. *sigh* The Dr. said she has a touch of asthma. (WTF is a touch of asthma? gr!) And she is now getting a breathing treatment 4 times a day plus a dose of steroids. Fun-tastic times. I hope this works, poor little girl. This has also been keeping me busy:

*grin* make sure your volume isn’t too loud.  Night!

I think I need a 10 step program…

or is a 12 step program? What ever it is, I think I’m in need of one. I can’t stop knitting these mug cozies.
2 Flakes
(click on the pictures in this posts for the details.)
Once I casted off of one, I had to cast on for another,
more hugs and kisses
and then 2 more,
Handspun cozies
and since those where over so quickly I didn’t get my fix. I had to cast on yet again
green and red mug cozies

Seriously I need a 10 step program, I just can’t stop! I was able to detour myself for a little bit yesterday. I bought a yellow metal tray a little over a year ago at Jo-ann’s on clearance. I used it last winter for cocoa, I’ve always met to paint it a solid color. This past week I was inspired to finally paint it (or just couldn’t take looking at the yellow tray any more you pick).
my hot cocoa tray
I spray painted it a medium blue, and free handed my family in snowmen on it. Because I couldn’t find any rub on snowmen. I’ve never thought that I could paint well, so I’m in total awe on how well it came out!! Its beautiful! I want to show it to everyone I’m so darn proud of it.
Now, I’m going to need that number for the cozy helpline… I need to cast on again!