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!

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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

Back-
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

Front-
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 🙂

end of socktober and one more pair of socks for the pile.

it was a push to finish these by the end of socktober, with the beginning of the month most of my knitting time was given to the finishing of Daddy’s mittens so they would be done in time for his birthday, then the sleeves to my Wisteria sweater so they would be done in time for Rhinebeck, then a quick little ear warmer for Rhinebeck too, and then finally a pair of fingerless mitts that I haven’t said anything about yet… anyway there has been loads of knitting time this month. Many of it because there has been lots of cuddle time where Kailey just wants to sit with me. Now that she’s feeling better I’ve been trying to find the house.  Never ending mission I swear, I’m getting there but as long as the floors are clean, kitchen sink is clean, bathroom is habital and laundry is washed I’m ok. Gotta keep the expectations low with 4 kids, so something feels accomplished.  With a few nights of tv knitting, and Corra’s basketball game yesterday morning where Mike stayed home with the other kids (we had to be in the next town 15 mins away at 815am. There was no way I was going to bring the younger kids with me if I could get away with it. By the way her team won 28-2 this was her first game of the season since the flu wiped us out, she got a 2 point shot during the game, and you wouldn’t BELEIVE the fouls the ref didn’t call.) I have a pair of finished mystery socks.

FO: TTL Mystery socks '09

project stats:
Pattern: Mystery Sock ’09 by Kirsten Kapur
Started: October 1 2009
Completed: October 31 2009
Yarn: Handmaiden Fine Yarn Casbah Sock colorway blue lagoon purchased from the Loopy Ewe
Needles: US 1½ (2.5 mm) for the cuff and US 2 (2.75 mm) for the rest.
notes: I made one little mod, only because I’m not that fond of lace on the foot of my socks (its cold here in January!) I knit through the back loop of the yo’s on the foot. This does change the fit a bit, since there isn’t as much ease.

FO: TTL Mystery socks '09

It has been a really, long time since I’ve knit a flap heel. I miss the magic of turning the heel. There might be a few more of these heels again in my future. Its really neat how Kirsten continued the pattern down the heel, a first for me. And I quite like how the calf pattern changes into the foot. Very cool. And the toe, awesome how she incorporated the decreases into the pattern!

FO: TTL Mystery socks '09

Socktober always makes me think about how many socks I have knit, which in the end reminds me how far I’ve come from the first sock I have ever knit. Oh wow, that was a doozy.  4 years of knitting socks brings 51 pairs of socks I’ve come a long way.  I put them all together in a set on flickr.

FO:  inverted marigold socks
clicky here to see it.

see, that totally justifies my sock yarn stash…

PS. I almost have my voice back, but the darn cough won’t leave just yet. Still feel a little crappy, but not as craptastic as I did earlier this week.
PPS. I’m going to start a sweater today in fact since Mike has the kids so well occupied I might sneak off and wind up the yarn now…

sweater for Rhinebeck ’09

nothing like a fantastic new sweater to break the blog silence… It’s been crazy busy here, but really when is it not? Kids are keeping me busy with all their sports, Girl Scouts has started up again and Corra is a Jr again, and Allysa is now a daisy. Anyway, this year I thought of knitting a sweater for Rhinebeck a little bit sooner than I did last year. I knew, absolutely new that I wanted to knit wisteria from the twist collective. The only problem is the smallest size is a 37, that’s 4″ to big for me! Thankfully its written for a worsted weight, so by knitting in a lighter gauge I’d get a smaller size. I really wanted to use Madelinetosh tosh worsted in logwood that I purchased from yarn4socks during an amazing sale, after I knit a few gauge swatches I had my mind made up. Some people say its a worsted, other say its a lighter worsted and I have to agree with them. On US 8’s it was WAY too loose. So lose you would be able to see through it, on 7’s it was still pretty loose. On Us 6’s it was perfect. So amazingly perfect. Wouldn’t you say?

FO: Whisty Wisteria

I can’t express how happy I am with this sweater, so very, very happy.

FO: Whisty Wisteria

I plan on wearing this baby to Rhinebeck this weekend. Tomorrow I finish packing up and Friday morning bright and early (ie 9am) the kids and I start off to my parents where we’ll stay for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to Rhinebeck this year. No so much for the stash adding, but for seeing all my knitting peeps. I’ll probably be wearing my pink vest over this, and if its raining I’ll be wearing my blue LLbean jacket over it, and my blue wellies (that Mike totally hates but he’s not going, and don’t get me started the shoes he was buying himself for the past 2 years).

FO: Whisty Wisteria

There was a bit here that I wasn’t sure if I would be able to finish this in time, since I put this sweater down to finish up Daddy’s mittens in time for his birthday. I’m still in shock that I was able to finish one sleeve in a day. A day. And do laundry. And cook. And play with the kids. Yeah, I’m shocked. The other sleeve took 2 days. There was much more to do, and I actually had to get dressed and leave the house.

FO: Whisty Wisteria

nakniswemodo #11 (I’m up to 12, but have only finished 11. I have lots of pictures to take)
Pattern- Wisteria by Kate Gilbert
Started September 18 2009
Completed October 13 2009
Yarn- Madelinetosh tosh worsted in logwood 4.5 hanks around 1,012 yards.
Needle- US 6 / 4.0 mm
raveled here.
note about the yarn- oh, love. It has such a nice hand, and knits up into a wonderful fabric. I was a little disappointed that there where bits where it wasn’t spun very well, and bits where it was slubby. But over all I will purchase this again. In fact I’m thinking about what colors I want next! I knit the yoke with one hank, then after the sleeves I started alternating every 3 rows with another ball until I got down to where you start the bottom cables. I didn’t do this on the sleeves.
mods- smallest size knit at a smaller gauge to make a smaller sweater. I thought all the increases where in with the cables, not all of them but most. If you are looking to make this pattern smaller you could also leave out the increases after the cables are done and before the sleeves are put on hold. One really important thing to remember when you knit a sweater at a tighter gauge is not only is your stitch gauge smaller but your row gauge too. Because my row gauge is 8 rows per inch and the pattern is 6 rows per inch I added 2 rows on each time the pattern said knit __ rows even. Also knit 7 extra rows before starting the cable on the bottom. If I didn’t the sweater would be 1” to short. Don’t think I’m all smarty pants, because I forgot this on my first sleeve and it was too short, I had to re-knit it to make it longer. Not a mod, but I color coded my cable charts to make them quicker to read. It’s easier for me to remember a color than a symbol. I find this makes reading more complex cable charts easier.

Its such a good feeling when a sweater comes out just as amazing as it does in my head. Such a good feeling.

PS. If you see me at Rhinebeck, please do say hi!
PPS I’m so excited for a day to shop for yarn with out kids, I’m already halfway packed.
PPPS I really hope it doesn’t rain. Gotta find that lil mini umbrella. Methinks its in the car…

FO: Ace Brown

Its been a crazy couple of weeks, 2 ER visits (long story shorter 1. Kailey fell and hit her head on a open drawer and cut her forehead. I thought it might need stitches, thankfully it wasn’t long enough so they glued it shut. 2. Corra fell while at her Dad’s and knocked herself out for a minute, took her to the ER to make sure she was ok. She is, she had a headache that lasted a few days but is otherwise alright. I quite hope we are done with ER visits, I can tell ya’ll this I won’t be going back to the Clarion PA ER where Corra went (I would have rather her gone to Dubois’s ER her Dad lives over there). The ER automatic doors didn’t open, well automatically. Yes, that shoulda been hint to not to even try to enter, cause hmm, if the doors don’t open should we really go in and seek medical treatment? ya know like if a restaurant has nasty bathrooms how clean are the kitchen’s really? Baseball and softball have started, games and all. GS is finishing up, and I had a spring cleaning attack and cleaned out the room of crap. Well, actually I cleaned my crap out of it but Mike’s crap is still in there. My brain isn’t any better off then it was before. But I did finish a sweater a few days before the first ER visit!

FO: Ace Brown

I don’t think I’ve talked about my hometown before, I grew up really, in a very rural area. We had a post office, library (complete with the stereotypical librarian hair in a bun, bifocals and a cranky demeanor, but she new her stuff.) general store that sold penny candy, town hall and fire department. To get to the mall was a 45minute drive, to town where the gas stations, grocery stores and movie theater where a 30minute drive.

FO: Ace Brown

I played little league baseball when I was little, wasn’t very good, but I picked my share of flowers. My backyard was a lake, and I spent the summers water skiing if I could get my Uncle to take me out on his boat. I road my bike everywhere I could, usually to the general store or to the park. Always hung out with the same kids, we where all friends for the longest time because well, there wasn’t much choice. My high school was amazingly small compared to the school’s here where I live now in PA. My kids elementary school, which serves just this town has more kids in it then my high school did. Its shocking to a lot of people here, but my high school was so small we didn’t have a football team because there weren’t enough people to play. Football is a way of life here, Steelers country, they live breathe and dream all about football. Sports are big here, for us uncoordinated folk its a challenge.

FO: Ace Brown

I love where I grew up, the museums, and the culture. The focus on the arts. The awesome maple syrup. I love where I live now, if I need milk its a 5 minute drive to the grocery store, if I need to put gas in the van there are 2 gas stations in town. The mall is 15 minutes away, everything is closer, granted I do miss the museums, and I really dislike the damned fire whistle (it only has one tone, so its not like it can be used to warn people of different things and I’m certain its gotten louder.) I know who my neighbors are here, in face one brought me a pie and cookies for the kids when I moved in. I’m used to the differnt terms that are used “red up the room” (clean up the room) and I still don’t own a sweeper, its a vacuum damnit. It plugs in, sweepers don’t. I keep catching myself saying “Ant Kelly” not Aunt, slowly I’m loosing my accent. A creek is still a little bit bigger than a stream not as big as a river. Redbank creek, its a river damnit, and I’ll still call Falls Creek, Falls Creak not Falls Crick.

FO: Ace Brown buttons

I love my hometown and all my memories of growing up. But I’m not moving back, well maybe when tourist season really becomes a season. Ya know, like deer season. And yes I do realize when I go back to visit I’m essentially a tourist.

FO: Ace Brown

details:
pattern: Acer by Kirsten Kapur
size: xs-ish, see mods
yarn: 5.25 skeins (735.0 yards) Greenwood Hill Farm 2-Ply Worsted in chocolate purchased during Rhinebeck ’08
needles: US 8 (5.0 mm)
Started March 19 2009 and finished April 3 2009
5th NaKniSweMoDo
ravled here.
buttons where a gift from PhenixPottery on etsy.
mods: because I used a lighter yarn that what is called for, and because I wanted my neck to be higher. That ment my yoke had to be longer. I cast on for the XS, knit 6 rows for my collar band. I knit 40 rows of the pattern (total including the WS rows). 22 increase rows total, basically I kept working the yoke pattern and increasing until the it was right under my underarms.
Note about the yarn- If I had to pick my deserted island yarn this would be it. It’s so soft, squishy, light weight and incredibly awesome to knit with. Incredibly soft. Srsly, wool is itchy to me, I have to wear a long sleeve shirt under most of my sweaters. This I can wear a t-shit. It’s from a flock of 100% pure breed merino sheep. It has its faults though, lots of them. 4 out of the 6 hanks had 1 knot in them. There is a great amount of hay in this yarn, it falls out while your knitting and is easy to pick it out. There are spots that are thick and there are some thin spots too. And to me the yarn smells weird, like cedar. The owner told me that she washes the hanks in lavender soap. Doesn’t smell like lavender to me. This time I washed the yarn trying to get rid of the smell, the majority of hay came out. But the smell was still there, some time in a ziplock back with some pretty smelling soap took the smell away. I really love this yarn, even with all the faults.
Overall this sweater is love (100), I’m trying really hard not to wear it every day.

PS. I’m super excited this weekend is supposed to be warm, sunny and overall awesome.
PPS. Mike doesn’t know it yet but we’re painting tomorrow.
PPPS. He does know that I’m sticking him with the kids for a few hours tomorrow so I can snicker away and get some damn quiet time.
PPPPS. I don’t know what’s up with some of the pictures, I had Bryce take them 2 weeks ago while we where doing some yard work. Granted this was the greatest amount of yard work I’ve done in a very, very long time.

It’s Stripe-tac-ular!

(sung to the tune of 007’s theme song) Stripe’s, Stripe’s, Stripe’s

FO: Stripe-tac-ular

Stripe’s, stripe’s, stripe’s

FO: strip-tac-ular

Stripe’s, Stripe’s, Stripe’s

FO: Stripe-tac-ular

striiiiiipppppppeeeeee’s!

FO: Stripe-tac-ular!

(don’t worry, I’m starting to think that there is something seriously wrong with my brain too. Who else looks at this sweater and starts humming 007’s theme song and thinking stripes in there head?)

onto the good stuff, I *think* I figured out the whole top down raglan shaping thing! It took me a bit to figure it all out (like what 8 months I’ve been thinking about it?), and a bit of head hurting too. I measured where I wanted the sweater to fall on my neck 21″ and then I multiplied it by my gauge (4.5) and then fudged the number so it was divisible by 3 (CO 96sts). Why three? Cause the front and back are each one third, and the sleeves are half of a third. (Make sense?) I have no idea why it took me so long to figure it out. But after I finished the green tweed it totally clicked and I’m thrilled. (If only I had this much time in geometry, I probably woulda gotten a B!) Anyway, I knit 8 rows of k2, p2 then knit one row with the MC (white). Placed raglan markers as follows 16(sleeve)pm, 32 (back)pm, 16 (sleeve)pm 32 (front) eor marker. Next row increase using MC by knitting to 2 sts before each marker kfb, k1, sm, k1 kfb. around. Next row change color using stationary jogless stripes technique. Increased on 2nd row, not on color change row.  I kept increasing until the sweater was just under my arms, put the sleeves on hold, and CO 8 sts for underarms. Added a bit of waist shaping and Finished body with 2” of k2, p2 ribbing BO in pattern.  Now onto the sleeves. I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn. So, I split the last ball in half, I had a little bit leftover from the body which I used some of on the sleeves.  Anyway I picked up the 8sts casted on for underarm, decreased every 1.5 down to 34 sts for cuff then knit one row before starting the ribbing. K2, p2 for 16 rows before binding off in pattern. See where I screwed up a bit and added a “design element”? There are two sets of 3 rows of the noro on both sleeves. I didn’t discover I did this on the first sleeve until I started the cuff. I kinda like it, and wasn’t about to rip it out. Mostly because the mohair in the yarn was starting to bother my hands. And now all my stash that has mohair in it is up for sale or trade here on the blog or on ravelry. Funny, cause the finished sweater doesn’t seem to bother me…. much…. I’ve worn it three times already…. anyway…

FO: stripe-tac-ular sleeve

pattern stats:
3rd nakniswemodo
raveled here.
Started March 1 2009
Completed March 8 2009 (I don’t know how, it just flew. I was compelled. Had to see what color came next and if I would have enough yarn.)
Needle’s US 7 (4.5 mm) for the ribbing and US 8 (5.0 mm) for the body.
Yarn- Main Color 2.9 skeins Naturally Hand Knit Harmony 8 Ply (purchased on sale at Natural Stitches)
2.84 Noro Silk Garden Colorway 232 (purchased at Knit Happens in Alexandria, Virginia 4 years ago)
Notes:  Should have added more shaping. It’s a little boxy. This was the first time I have ever used a jog-less stripe technique, so of course I thought it was best to you know, learn on a sweater. Not handwarmers, or a hat. Next time (yes there will be a next time, even though there are times I find the stripes a bit intoxicating cute) I’m going to put the color change right after the right shoulder’s raglan marker. Where the k1 is, before the increase. So the jog is right under my arm, and a little more hidden. Yes, it does bother me a bit that is so visible on the back, the sleeves as you can see are better. But I’m a nit picky PITA. However, I still love the STRIPES!

my photographer and I

PS. Happy Pi day tomorrow! We’re going to measure round stuff and have pot pie’s for dinner and chocolate pie for dessert.
PPS I have another obsession. Had to get this design outta my head!
PPPS see the new bed pillows? They have a story too, and I know as soon as Mike sees them I know he’s going to sigh and say more pillows? hehehe. (Hopefully soon I’ll have a headboard for my bed, its way to hard to find a headboard for a California king!)

a bit of yoke stranded love

Lately I’ve had a “thing” with adding sleeves to patterns that would otherwise just be vests. Someday I would love to knit myself a vest, and have thought about it a few times. But I’m not sure if they would look good on me or not. When I first saw the shalom pattern I thought “oooo, this would rock with sleeves.” I finished it, still have to take pictures of it and blog about it. I did add sleeves and it does rock a bit. Now when I saw Lolly’s Létt-Lopi Vest I knew it would be perfect pattern for the blue Berroco Peruvia that Mike got me for Christmas. I would have to pick up a few contrast colors, and that means a trip to the yarn shop. (yay!)

Kailey

When I looked at the pattern for the vest, I thought I would wear it more often if it had sleeves. I cast on for the body and knit away, halfway through I realized, duh, that I would have to cast on the sleeves and attach them to the yoke where it says to cast on so many stitches for the sleeves. Duh! For some reason I was thinking that I would add the sleeves after I knit the yoke. Um, yeah. I know it doesn’t work like that. So I cast on 30sts worked 5 rows of seed stitch to match the hem. I increased 2 stitches every 10 rows until I had 48 sts. Then ended up knitting 6 rows before stopping, my finished sleeves measured 19″. I added the sleeves to the body where in the pattern is says to cast on for them. I put 10 sts on each side on hold for the underarms. I wanted my sleeves to be a bit fitted. I didn’t want them to be baggy but I do want to be able to wear a long sleeve shirt under it for extra warmth.

FO: not so much a vest

I don’t think I have a particularly long torso, I’m a little on the short side on a good day I’m a full 5’3″ tall. I added 1.3” to the body. Making my finished body measurement 13.5″. I wanted my sweater to fall a little bit below my jeans, just above the back pockets. Anyway one of the best things about this type of sweater is that the best part is the last. Motivating you to finish up the sea of stockinette to get to that good stuff… the color-work.
FO: not so much a vest

I knit 4 rows before starting the fair-isle pattern, I can’t remember if the pattern said to do that or not… I used many safety pins to mark out the repeats because I have an inability to count at times, it made it easier to see a mistake. I thought of this after I tinked back a row a few too many times. Also, I used 4 colors instead of the 3. Cause I just liked it better! And I used this calculator for the decrease just before the neckband. Also, I kinda forgot and only left out row 40. Which made the yoke a little bit taller. Oops, oh well. The yoke fits fine, and only occasionally hits my neck. But its ok when it does, read: it doesn’t bother me enough to rip it out. I do wish I had added some short rows to the back of the neck before binding off. Oh, well. Next time.

FO: not so much a vest

I absolutely love how this sweater came out, its perfect. Fits me wonderfully, and makes me feel like a million bucks when I’m wearing it. This is my first sweater for nakniswemodo. And I couldn’t be happer with how it turned out.
the dets:
pattern: Lett-Lopi Vest by Védís Jónsdóttir PDF!
size: small (32″)
needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm and US 8 / 5.0 mm
yarn: Berroco Peruvia
MC- 3.58 skeins in color 4145 (blue heather with bits of green)
CC1- 0.44 skeins in color 7124 (white)
CC2- 0.32 skeins in color 7125 (green)
CC3- 0.28 skeins in color 7152 (brown)
Started February 6 and completed February 15 2009
raveled here. (All my notes all there, maybe even a bit easier to read.)
a note on the yarn: this was a wonderfully wooly yarn to knit with. It’s a tad bit hairy and something that I can only see using for sweaters or the like. I think it would drive me mad if it was anything else because of the little hairs that wiggle free. In the 7 skeins that I wound and used there was only 1 knot. It was more of a join, almost like a Russian join. And after wearing it four times it started to pill, I had a feeling that it would. Chanting it won’t pill didn’t work either.  The the piling is minimal, but is happening. With that said I would totally use this yarn again, in fact I can’t bring myself to return the 2 unused skeins. I think a vest would be nice, a nice stripy vest. Maybe I’ll add solid colored sleeves…

It’s totally normal to love a sweater this much, right? *sigh*

going through withdraw

I’m not quite sure how this happened, but somehow after I finished a pair of fingerless mitts on Friday night I didn’t start another project till Tuesday night. Almost 96 hours. It took me a little while to realize why my shoulders where achy, my wrists hurt and my fingers where tingly. It was withdraw. Withdraw from knitting. Yep, my body was having withdraw symptoms from not knitting. Yes, I’m crazy and need my head checked but that’s beyond this point. I had to cast on something, and quick. I wound up some BFL roving from Spunky Eclectic that was a gift from my sister that I had spun in early September and my second ever wheel spun. Since Corra hasn’t been wearing her hat from last year because she says it doesn’t fit her head, I casted on a hat for her. Here it is in its unblocked glory.
withdrawl hat
Pattern notes: casted on 48 sts using US 11’s (8.0mm) knit for a bit, went to find my size 11 fixed circular needle because the stitches where jammed on the dpns. Couldn’t. Found the US 13 (9.0mm) switched to that. I’m calling it shaping, but its really pure laziness.
I knit till there was about 10 yards left of the blue, then knit 3 rows with the white. Then 2 rows with the blue, a bunch more rows with the white, then knit 1 more row with what was left of the blue before knitting the final decrease row with the white. raveled here
withdrawl hat
It felt so good to knit something! I swear I have a darn good reason for not knitting for a whole weekend. More on that later.

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.

somewhat handmade holiday

Wow, what happened to November? Time continues to be this elusive creature which is impossible to track and capture. November was crazy here, but then again its always crazy here. This was just crazy with a few car trips, two diorama’s, a few birthday party’s, that big holiday involving a turkey and a bunch of gift knitting thrown in for good measure.  Even though I completely missed posting on Thanksgiving, I was totally blogging in my head which counts right? There is so much that I’m thankful for, its hard to blog about it with someone across the table from me signing John Jacob Jinglehimer Schimdt complete with the obligatory yelling.

What I really want to blog about is my crazy idea of a somewhat handmade holiday. There is no way I could pull of a compete handmade holiday. I have four kids (yep, I’m playing that card!) add a dash of incredible amount of laziness your gonna get an almost handmade holiday. I’m all for spicing up something store bought with a bit of homemade, also not everyone on my list is going to be getting handmade gift. Remember? Four kids? They are a bunch of time suckers, and you should see the laundry and dishes they all create! I made a list, and I didn’t check it twice I know for damn sure I’m forgetting something cause I always am. Its a good thing I started in November and I can cross some stuff off making it incredibly confusing.

Corra’s homeroom teacher – sock monster (or a scarf or handwarmers. I haven’t quite desided. Her teachers a man, and I always find them hard to make stuff for.)
Corra’s flute teacher- handwarmers (I have a new appreciation for music teachers after going to a music night at our local middle school. God bless the music teachers!) Done!

toasty handwarmers more info on ravelry here.
Bryce’s homeroom teacher- a cowl using handmaiden casbah in Nova Scotia – done but not blocked. So its not really done.
Bryce’s speech teacher- haven’t decided handwarmers? a cowl? Not sure, he’s been working with her for 3 years now so the woman deserves something really good!
Allysa’s pre-school teacher Ms. C- handwarmers and hat
dashing mitts for Ms. C
gotta get started on that hat.
Allysa’s pre-school teacher Ms. A – handwarmers and hat (This is Allysa’s last year at this school and if you saw what these ladies have to put up with! We also joined in Jan last year so they didn’t get pressies.)
Fingerless mitts and hat
Done! More info on ravelry the hat and the mitts.
Receptionist at pre-school- jar candle with metal thingy.
school nurse- (this blessed lady has to deal with my kids) a jar candle with one of those metal cozy things from handknit holidays.
10 more jar candles with metal bead cozy things just in case.– 5 done so far.

Diane- I’m not telling. 😉 but its probably not going to be done in time.
knitting buddy Amanda- crazy here suggested we knit each other socks after Christmas, and knitting buddy said how about we spin the yarn for them? Suuuureee…. I’m not that great of a spinner. Good thing this is an after holiday knit!
SIL Kelly- short socks. Might use the cable twist socks definitely use Handmaiden casbah in blue lagoon.
MIL Cheryl- a keyhole scarf using dream in color classy cocoa’s kiss. Maybe a tam, She keeps telling me about the tams she had growing up but can’t tell me much about them. I don’t want to knit her a tam and then her not want to wear it , ya know?
keyhole scarf for MIL raveled here.
BIL Eric- probably a gift card. He doesn’t “get” my knitting (like I asked him too?)
Babysitter- a pink and orange cowl. I want to spin the yarn for this, but I can’t decided on how I want to dye the fiber.
Mom- mittens, stranded mittens with lots of colors and lined with something soft. (Mom and Dad’s mittens aren’t due until January, hurray!)
Dad- Magnificent Mittens – Chapter 5, Pattern 1 using Paton’s classic merino lined with something soft. (I should have never showed them my fiddlehead mittens)

See? Incredibly confusing, it looks a little crazy and probably only makes sense to me. But I feel some comfort knowing that some of it is already done.  I’m filled with this immense pleasure now that handmade gifts seem to be more socially acceptable! I never really know when people tell me how great a handmade gift is how they really feel about it.  So, are you planning on making gifts this Christmas?

PS. Thursday my little guy turned 8, I don’t know where he got the notion he could grow up.
eight is great!
Happy Birthday Bryce! Eight certainly is great 🙂

PPS. I changed my header and added some snow! Its starting to feel a lot like Christmas.