Friday, December 30, 2011

A Look Back at Knitting 2011

I have to say that I am amazed at how much knitting I got done in 2011.  More importantly, when I look at my Ravelry site, I am amazed at how many completed projects are on view there for 2011.  Very few UFO's for this past year!  I find I am becoming more focused on what I am knitting and really try to finish one project before going on to the next.  It helps to be knitting for young grandchildren knowing that these projects need to be finished quickly before they grow out of them.   Here's a few of  my projects:

Two Maize sweaters for my son and grandson:


A poncho and sweater for Maeve:


 Hats, socks and the Donner Pass Cowl:



The Blueleaf headband and the Shawl Collared Vest:


    You can see the rest on my Ravelry site.  My first project for the New Year is the Sweetheart Pullover for my grandaughter Maeve:

This is done in AslanTrends Del Cerro and I happened to find some on sale in a perfect color for a Sweetheart sweater:

Happy New Year everybody!  It's Fiber Arts Friday so go check out what the Fiber Arts gang has been up to this week on Andrea's Wisdom Begins in Wonder site.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

Lots to do to get ready for Christmas, but one thing I try to avoid is knitting presents for those near and dear.  I am in awe of those who actually get their projects done in time and sympathize with those who don't and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - The Yarn Harlot - has written many a funny story about all this.

I do like to knit Christmas stockings and finished the Holly Stocking  for the newest member of our family, Forest, with time to spare:

This pattern calls for Bartlettyarns, a good sturdy, scratchy worsted yarn from Harmony, Maine, and although it may not be soft against  your skin it knits up into a nice sturdy stocking, meant to hold lots of little presents without sagging.  The heel was done with yarn over short rows and this was new to me.  Check out this You Tube video if you want to learn how.  Here's my heel:


And here's Forest who is feeling quite pleased with himself for finding a nice comfy seat in the kitchen drawer:


Also finished some socks for myself in an Opal colorway that may not appeal to everyone but I love shades of brown and green:



Happy Fiber Friday!  Check out Andrea's blog to read about talented fiber artists and what they have been creating.                                                                              
  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!



Monday, December 5, 2011

Harry Potter and The Donner Pass Cowl

It feels so good when you finish a knitting project or, in this case, two.  If you are stuck in a rut and are looking for a project with instant gratification,  I would recommend the Donner Pass Cowl.  It's an easy pattern and knits up in no time with just one skein of yarn.  The secret to these kinds of projects is a colorful hand dyed yarn and I used Lorna's Laces yarn that was custom dyed to celebrate the last of the Harry Potter movies.  It's Lion and Lamb and the color is He Who Must Not Be Named:



Also finished the Maize sweater from the first Nashua Handknits collection:


Now to finish a Christmas stocking.  This is  Annie's Woolens  Holly Christmas Stocking:


The yarn is Bartlettyarns worsted which makes a good sturdy stocking ready to hold lots of little presents:


Over the years I've knit lots of Christmas stockings but I seem to like Annie's the best.  Here are a couple hanging on the fireplace with some others I have made:


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ski Sweaters

We have already had a few snowstorms in the Lake Tahoe area and it's time to get ready for ski season.   This time of year, we are all in love with the beautiful snowy landscape surrounding us; May and June, not so much:

Time to get out the ski sweaters and think about updating my sweater wardrobe, but first there's this:


 The Look. She who must not be ignored.  The Look that says, why are we still cooped up in this place when we could be out walking and enjoying this beautiful day?  Why are you still on that computer; it seems like hours since you glued yourself to that couch.  Maybe if I go and sit by the door you will get the idea:


   Ok, we are going out, but first here are a few pictures of my ski sweaters, some a little worse for wear:

One of my favorites called Snowflake Sweater made with Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.  I never get tired of wearing this.  Not very much pilling, which is nice.

Here is a Benetton sweater that I have had for years, and even though I don't wear it too often, I just love pulling it out and looking at this great design:


This is an actual handknit Dale sweater that my daughter found in Colorado and gave to me as a birthday present years ago.  I just love it:


This is called "A Day On The Slopes" and was a kit I bought at Stitches years ago.  It was knit in the round and then steeked for the front opening.  The directions were very well written:


  The is an old favorite called "Starry Night" that I never get tired of wearing, even though I made it with Cascade 220 and it pills alot:


For anyone who is a dog lover, I found this cute poem on Writer's Almanac called Dogs.  Have a great day!                                                                                                                                                                                    

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Verb for Keeping Warm

A Verb for Keeping Warm is the name of a popular yarn shop in Oakland that gets mentioned alot on blogs,  podcasts and by local designers and I have been wanting to make a trip there to check it out.


Last Sunday they invited their fans to stop by for tea and to meet Clara Parkes of Knitter's Review
and that was motivation enough for me.  It really is a great shop - they carry fabric as well as yarn - and all of it is attractively displayed with lots of room to wander around and a nice area for classes.





They hand dye alot of their own yarns and also teach classes on hand dyeing:

   It's a very trendy shop; Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits teaches classes there on a regular basis and there were lots of patterns from the latest group of popular designers, like Stephen West.  Here's a couple of ladies wearing their Stephen West Daybreak shawl:

Then it was time for Clara  Parkes:

She talked about attending Mills College in Oakland and graduating with  degrees in French and Art History and then getting into the tech industry for a company located just south of San Francisco.  She starting spending her lunch hour at a yarn shop near there and an hour became an hour and a half  or more (with numerous parking meter tickets to show for it) and her knitting career began.  Eventually she moved to a beautiful coastal area in Maine and is now living almost every knitter's dream.  Sigh!

Clara has just published a book called, The Knitter's Book of Socks 



  and there were lots of fans there for the book signing:

Some of the socks from her book:

This week marks the one year anniversary for A Verb for Keeping Warm and they are having some great sales and a booksigning by Ysolda Teague this Saturday.  A good reason to get over there!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween and a Few Other Things

Visiting in Denver for the past week and we have had 6 inches of snow which is not too bad considering what is happening in other parts of the country. A good excuse to stay inside and knit my Maize sweater for my son Ryan with kitty to keep me company:



I am knitting this with Brown Sheep's  Lamb's Pride worsted in a color called Old Sage:


Maeve has been wearing her poncho to school:

    My daughter has been wearing a beautiful aran sweater that I thought was a handknit gift from Ireland.  Turns out it's from J Crew and we looked at the tag inside.  It says, Handknit in China.

No trip to Denver would be complete without hitting a few of their wonderful yarn shops.  Here's Sara in her Cabled Capelet by Ann Schantz  at The Lamb Shoppe:


Pumpkins are all carved and waiting to be put out on Halloween night.

The kids are already to go; Ninjas are really big this year:

Our little Lion is not as excited about all this:


Happy Halloween!  Couldn't resist adding this quilt from the Pacific Quilt Show: