Friday, December 6, 2013

This Could Be Back East

The weather here in the Bay Area of California has been pretty cold this week,  I mean Back East/Midwest cold,  like 23 degrees one morning and 28 today.  People are getting out their credit cards to scrape the ice off their windshields; boy does that bring back memories!  Of course during the day it has been going up to 50 or so, but for us wimpy Californians, that's cold!  The weathermen/women here are having a field day - they are so excited to really have something to talk about!

Finished my Rascal Raccoon Pullover and I can't wait to see it on my grandson:


    That's it for now, stay warm everybody.


Check out Tami's blog to see what other knitters have been working on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Raccoon Sweater

It's the week after Thanksgiving and, surprisingly, there is a real feeling of accomplishment around here.  Our Christmas tree ( which my husband and kids cut down themselves!) is set up and decorated. Looking good! I have done most of my Christmas shopping and have actually wrapped many of the presents. The Christmas cards have been ordered, complete with pictures of our entire family. Now time for a little knitting.

I finished the scarf I was making for the Red Scarf Project which is part of Foster Care for Success and mailed it off last week.  I attached a note of encouragement to the young woman or man who gets it and I hope they enjoy it.  The yarn is Filatura de Crosa's Adhoc which is wool and alpaca and, hopefully, will keep them warm for a long time.


Unfortunately, not all my knitting projects have gone smoothly: the Rascal Raccoon Pullover was on time out for a week until I had time to redo the neckline - it was too small for my grandson.  I had hoped to have it done by now, but I just finished the backstitching which was time consuming, sewed on the button eyes and nose and now I just need to finish putting it together.


I picked up this book by Linda Greenlaw called The Lobster Chronicles.  It's about her  life living on a small island in Maine and working as a lobster woman.  Some of you may remember her as the woman who had her own swordfish boat in the movie The Perfect Storm with George Clooney.  Actually, she wasn't in the movie but the character was based on her.  It really is a cute book and I'm enjoying it.  There seems to be alot of interest in Maine this year and if you haven't gotten your fill, you may be able to find this at a used book store; I think it came out about ten years ago.


Have a good week everybody and check out what others are up to at Tami's blog.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Talented Friends

Today is Fiber Arts Friday and also FO (finished object) Friday  and I don't have anything even approaching the finish mark yet, however, I met up with some of my talented knitting friends yesterday for lunch and knitting and I just have to show you what they have been up to. They were kind enough to let me post some pictures.

This is my friend Barb's  dreambird shawl - isn't this gorgeous!  I took these pictures with my IPhone so apologies for the quality!


  Here is Mary in her Cassidy sweater and look at the cute ribbon with the little dog paw prints that she used on the back of the buttonholes:



   These pictures don't do Mary's beautiful knitting justice, so I am going to include a picture from her project page:


Have a good weekend everybody and check out Tami's blog to see what other knitters are up to!                                                                                                                                          

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Intarsia Knitting

So it's Work In Progress Wednesday and I have progress on my Rascal Raccoon sweater to show off. If you have ever wondered why knitters avoid intarsia like the plague and you rarely see a pattern for this kind of knitting, here's why:


Yikes!  What a mess!  Intarsia for those who are not familiar with this technique, is a way to knit patterns into a sweater using blocks of one color yarn and then moving onto another color block with a different color.  Unlike Fair Isle where you carry just two colors along the entire row, you can have a number of different colors going at one time. You are picking up one color, knitting stitches within that pattern and then dropping that yarn to pick up another to fill in another part of the pattern.  Here is the front and back and what it will look like when done:


I don't  have alot of experience with this type of knitting ( does anyone?) and I am sure there will be some knitters who will be thinking there is a neater way to do this, but I just plunged into this project and I have to say it has been fun to do -- really!!  Does anyone remember when the Rowan pattern books would be filled with these patterns? 

I picked up Knitting Lessons by Lela Nargi in a used book store recently and I am really enjoying it.  It is a book of short stories about knitting,  beautifully and thoughtfully told by knitters you have never heard of and some that you will know: Vickie Howell, Trisha Malcolm, Teva Durham, Edith Eig.  Who is Edith Eig? She was the owner of the famous La Knitterie Parisienne yarn shop located close to Hollywood and a favorite hangout for knitters in the entertainment industry such as producers, directors, actresses and other woman in "The Industry".  I especially enjoyed the stories of people learning to knit and how they came to be interested in knitting.


I think this is a book that all knitters would enjoy and  you can just pick it up and read it at any time.
To see what other knitters are working on, head over to Tami's blog and read about their experiences.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Few FO's to Report

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween and that you are getting to enjoy some nice Fall weather.  The trees have shed their leaves, but what a pretty sight they were:



My Sibella is finished, and I am pleased with how it turned out.    It was a pretty easy knit and Quince and Co.'s Chickadee yarn was so nice to work with.  The color is Bird's Egg:


Now that the weather has cooled down, here is a picture of me wearing my Freeport Vest:


Here is my current project, the Rascal Raccoon Pullover by Celeste Pinheiro.  It's a raccoon worked in intarsia, so there are lots of messy ends to work with, but this is a labor of love for my grandson, so it's worth it!


I'm using  Plymouth Encore Worsted which is the yarn used in this project and it's mostly acrylic so I hope it holds up well to washing and general use by an active three year old.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday and have a great weekend!  Check out some other finished projects at Tami's blog as well.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Red Scarf Program

I'm working my way through my Sibella and it's been a nice project to knit.  There will be minimal seaming and once I knit the neck, I will be done! You knit the body in the round and then knit the sleeves separately and knit them to the body at the start of the yoke:



This Quince and Co. Chickadee yarn has been great to work with; I love their colors and the quality of this yarn is first rate - no knots or splitting.

I hope to have this done in the next week and will post a picture here.  In the meantime, I am planning on knitting a scarf  for the Foster Care to Success College Fund Red Scarf project.  This is an organization that helps foster children who have aged out of the foster system and are pretty much on their own.  They provide emotional and financial support for those kids that are now enrolled in college  and who need help with everything from money for textbooks, to paying for clothing, food and emergency car repairs.  The Red Scarf project is a popular program and over the years many knitters have knit scarves in varying shades of red to show their support for these kids as well as sending along a note of encouragement as well as donating to the Fund.  All scarves have to be finished and delivered by December 1st and I am hoping to make two.  Here is the yarn I am using for the first one, in a burgundy shade:


The Red Scarf project has links to a number of quick and easy scarf projects and I chose Palindrome, a reversible cable scarf.


Couldn't resist including this picture of some of our tomatoes!  They are everywhere and we are making salsa, pasta sauce, crostini, salads, etc.


Enjoy the week and check out what others are working on over at Tami's blog.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer Vacation

So it seems I've taken an extended vacation from posting about my knitting exploits, but I've noticed that others have done the same thing - so much to do in the summer!  I've been enjoying various blog posts about vacations and there have been some wonderful pictures to go along with them, like woolythyme's trip to Africa and along the Maine Coast, Gale Zucker's blog about her trip to Maine (Maine was very popular this summer!) and, of course, any photos that are posted by loritimes five.  If you don't follow her blog, head over there to take a peek; she is a really amazing photographer and a very fine knitter.

We took a trip to Southern California for a wedding and made a trip to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, home of the swallows who return every March from South America:


  The mission built a huge church and it was the pride of the mission system, but unfortunately, it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1812 and was never rebuilt.   The remains of the church are still there and it is to that spot that the swallows come back every year to build their nests in the ruins of the church walls:


These are the original bells from the church:

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to go to our nearby lake, get in some swimming and sit in the sun and read.  Here are a couple of books that I read this summer:


The End of Your Life Book Club is really a wonderful book and not at all depressing, despite the title.  If you are a reader, you will enjoy this story of a son and his mother who read voraciously and discuss the books throughout this story.  At the end of the book is a list of all the books mentioned and I marked off the ones I wanted to read as I went along.

And, oh yes, I did a little knitting, including the following projects:

The Freeport Vest by Elizabeth Smith:


A pair of Opal Nightlife socks:


And my current project, Carrie Bostick Hoge's Sibella:


  I'm using Quince and Co's Chickadee yarn in the color Bird's Egg.  Not much to look at yet, so here's a picture of Carrie's sweater:


A little more detail:


That's it for now; looking forward to catching up with what everyone else has been knitting!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not So Happy WIP


Well,  I know this happens to all of us.  I'm finishing up my Montague Vest which was a pretty easy project and I'm feeling pretty good about all this when I went and tried it on and stood in front of the mirror and realized this just does not look good on me!  I took it off and tried it on again the next morning to see if things had improved (perhaps my body shape had changed overnight?) and came to the realization that this is just not going to work for me.  For starters, it's a little too big, even though I did knit a swatch and got gauge ( I thought) but the yarn used in the project was Tahki Montana and the  unlabeled Tess' Yarn from my stash looks alot more chunky than the intended effect.  


I'm going to let it sit in my project bag for awhile until I decide what to do next.  I like the yarn and actually envisioned knitting a jacket with it while I was working away on this vest; perhaps this yarn is better suited for something like that.  

Anyway, on to my current work in progress: the Freeport Vest:



This is really an easy project that is knit in the round using Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Phony Seam" which I have done for the first time. You can see how to do it here on Elizabeth Smith's  web site.  It's pretty easy to do and I think will produce a nicer fitting vest.

I'm using the yarn that she used for this project, Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Bulky:



Yes, another project with bulky yarn, hopefully, with a better outcome!   Head over to Tami's blog to see what some really talented knitters are up to.  


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

More About Maine


In the midst of this sweltering heat, I am finishing up my chunky wool Montague Vest and I keep thinking about my trip to Maine and those cool breezes along the ocean where I walked every day:



I'm also starting to read this book called Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan about a family with three generations summering at their house in Cape Neddick:


And every morning I walk into my kitchen and see this:


All of this has gotten me in the mood to ditch this heavy woolen knitting once I finish this vest and do another easy summer project like this cotton Sanibel Cowl which is a free project on Ravelry:

Is anyone else a big fan of  Gale Zucker's blog, she shoots sheep shots?   Go check out her latest post on a road trip to Maine; what a great time she had!  Gale is a professional photographer as well as a fellow knitter and her photos are wonderful of sheep and wool in Down East Maine as well as some great yard sale finds.  Here's a picture of their camping spot:


Have a great Fourth everyone and stay cool! To see what other folks are working on, check out Work in Progress Wednesday.