I have a reprieve on the little baby set. I thought the baby was due mid-June, but is actually not due until mid-July. So, I can procrastinate, and knowing me, I probably will! I get to the sewing up point and come to a screeching halt!!

However, I’ve been knitting furiously on other projects. That seems to be about all I want to do lately. I’ve found the news to be so depressing. One of my very good friends has a son in Bagdhad and is very worried about the reports coming from there. Sometimes it gets overwhelming for me and I cannot even imagine having a son in such harm’s way. Knitting seems to provide a sense of peace and calm in what can be an otherwise chaotic world. I am so thankful that my family has not been touched by terrorism or violence and can only ache for those who have been affected.

On to happier things – yesterday we drove up to Canada to the Highland Games in Coquitlam. It was a beautiful day and we had a lovely time. Anyone driving a British car was allowed in free and could park on the field. The only downside was that, contrary to published reports, there were absolutely NO signs directing us on how to get into the park. We drove around the perimeter three times without luck. Finally, on the directions of a passerby, we drove down a very small road only to be thwarted again by a chain link fence. There, on the other side, were all the British cars lined up neatly. One of the people there directed us to the correct entrance and then said, “Did you know you were driving down a walking path?” Uh, oh. At least we were small enough to do so! And, here are pictures to show knitting was accomplished:


And a picture of this handsome guy:


It was almost 80 degrees, and you gotta think this guy was hot, but he took it all with great aplomb.

The sweater I was knitting on is for CIC. I have waffled a lot on what to do for charity knitting. I have finally settled on Children in Common because the need is great and one that I feel I can fill. However, I’ve found that I really don’t care that much for knitting worsted weight socks. So, I thought knitting little sweaters would fill the bill. Only, I couldn’t find a pattern that I could get excited about. Then, I got the bright idea of writing my own pattern for a seamless, plain stockinette sweater. The whole idea was that I could whip out little plain sweaters in no time flat. What a dreadful idea! I should have known that knitting little plain stockinette sweaters would be boring in the extreme. I got up to the armholes on one and thought I would die!

Then, I remembered a book sitting on my bookshelf – Beth Brown-Reinsel’s Knitting Ganseys. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? Of all the sweater styles I have knit in my career, I love ganseys the best. There is enough going on to keep you interested, an infinite variety of patterns to plug in, armhole gussets that are just too cool, a fit that is comfortable and (best of all), once you’re done, you weave in a few ends and you’re done! NO SEWING!!! So, I cast on and I think we have a winner. Here is the first in a series, the Snakes and Ladders gansey from the book:


Next time, as promised, I will try to discuss the burning question of floats vs. weaves. I know you are waiting with baited breath. And those of you non-knitters in my family that read my blog might just want to take a snooze.

I like lace – it makes me happy


Before it’s blocked, it sure looks crappy


A nice, cool bath, a thousand pins – and on my face a big huge grin


Magic, ethereal, gossamer, divine,
And best of all, it’s mine, mine mine!


I like lace – it make me happy,
Except for writing poems that sound real sappy.

Ok, it’s more Ogden Nash than Dylan Thomas, but it’s a poem, and my entry into The Amazing Lace, Challenge 3.

It’s been at least a week since I’ve blogged, but that’s because I’ve been knitting away. In fact, I’ve been on knitting overdrive, trying to beat the new baby. I think I’ll make it. Here are little baby outfit pieces just waiting to be morphed into a finished layette:


I have cute little heart buttons and now just have to force myself to do my least favorite knitting activity – sewing together.

Of course, now that it’s just about done, I can contemplate another project. On second thought, I have decided not to do the Mystery Stole. I decided that my time would be better spent starting a new Christmas outfit for Izzy. My summer is fairly free and once school starts I need to put my nose to the books, so I’m going to capitalize on the summer, along with all the attendant car shows that offer lots and lots of knitting time.

Yesterday we attended a show close to home that turned out to be quite a to-do. There were over 200 cars there, some of them just stunning, and a beautiful venue:


The best part is that is is only about a half hour drive from our house. And I saw this cute little family:


It was a lovely 8 hours visiting with friends, knitting and best of all – winning first prize in our class!! Bill was quite surprised because the competition was fierce. Actually, that wasn’t the best part – we were parked right next to a mega bucks red Ferrari. The owner was kind of a pretentious blowhard and was constantly regaling people with stories of how much the car cost to buy and maintain and how he once got a ticket for going 172 mph in a 55 mph zone (as if that was something to be proud of!). However, our little Mini Cooper got twice the attention his car did and at one point someone said (loud enough so he could hear), “Who needs a red Ferrari when you’ve got a cute little Mini to buzz around in?” Did my heart good.

I’ve debated whether or not to show Izzy’s Christmas outfit. I do so love sharing my projects with all of you, but her parents do read my blog (Hi Ben! Hi Abby!) and I would like them to be at least a little surprised. So . . . I’m going to try something new. I will not be showing any completed parts of the outfit, but little bits and pieces. See if you can guess what I’m making. This is from a published pattern, and although I’ve heard rumors that the book is out of print, I think it is still available out there. The first person to guess exactly what I’m making gets a free prize from my sock yarn stash (to be determined). So, here are the first two clues. The yarn – bright funky colors:


Nothing pastel about these babies! And the start:


Next installment will be a discussion of floats vs. weaving.

And, in the Amazing Lace, our current assigment is to blog about some place x-citing or x-treme for your lace knitting. I’m sorry, but sitting in my recliner watching old movies is about exciting as lace knitting gets around here. Oh, there’s the occasional car show or football game, but most of the time my life teeters on the edge of dullness. Or, as I prefer – stable and secure. However for x-treme lace knitting, I give you Kris. Anyone who knits lace with a toddler in her lap is a woman living on the edge of madness!

Did you ever have one of those projects that you started that kept snowballing until it turned into a project of epic proportions? It all started innocently enough with a birthday party. It was held at the home of some friends who just moved into their new home. This house is a showstopper! We were all agog with the architecture, decorating, etc. etc. I came home and looked at my humble home with an objective eye and decided I needed to do something. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not ready (or able) to run out and spend hundreds of thousands decorating to try and keep up with the Joneses. But I did decide that I could do the next best thing and try to clean and declutter what we have.

My first project was the area that bugs me the most – my husband’s computer desk. It’s right in the main living/dining area and no way to hide it. It’s always dusty, cluttered and a complete mess! To make it worse there’s an ugly metal file cabinet that holds the printer. First step was to buy a new, better looking oak file cabinet. Good move – it looks more like a piece of furniture. Then came the decluttering! I took all the files out and moved the old file cabinet to my sewing room (uh, studio) and took everything off the computer desk. Nothing was going back on until I sorted through! Before you know it, every flat surface in the living room and dining room was piled high with files and assorted junk! What had I gotten myself into? And so began the sorting through at least 15 years of amassed papers and junk. Six hours later I was pleased with the final result:


My house will never be a show stopper, but never let it be said that it can’t be clean and uncluttered.

And while I was working I managed to catch this picture:


Kirby does not like to be caught snuggling up to Hester. He feels it compromises his macho image. But when he’s unsure (like when there are papers and files stacked everywhere), he likes to be close to her.

And, in between obsessive organizing, I have been knitting. Front and back are done on the baby sweater and I’ve started decreasing for the sleeve caps. I’m still debating about making the hat. A baby born in Arkansas in June has no need for a hat, but since this is meant to be handed down, the next baby just might be born in December.


And, since lace seems to be so appropriate for summer, I’ve signed up for the Mystery Stole 2, created by Melanie. I’ve never done a mystery project and this sounds like fun. I would hope to have Peacock Feathers done before I start. I’m almost to the last two charts, but at this point you run into the Black Hole of Knitting. The rows just keep getting longer and longer. I’ve had requests for a picture and I’ll try to get one for the next post.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled knitting to bring you – Baby Knits!


I realized with shock the other day that my great-nephew is due to arrive in a few short weeks. Is it my imagination, or did this pregnancy go at the speed of light? I’m sure his mother thinks otherwise, but I’m of the opinion it’s definitely been less than nine months. So I figured I’d better get cracking!

This design is from the Dale baby book #129 (the one with the zebra on the cover) and is knitted with Dale Baby Ull – my favorite yarn of all time. My stash does not quite rival my lace stash – but close! Just let it be said I can sit down and whip out a baby ensemble without ever having to hit the yarn store! I love wee baby things. They go very fast and there is nothing more precious than a little one wrapped up in a hand knitted garment. And I’m probably in the minority in that I knit them in the little wee sizes. I realize they fit for about two minutes, but they are heirlooms to be handed down for generations. In fact, here are two of my favorite pictures.

The first is Ben wearing the little sweater and booties I knit for him before he was born:


And Izzy wearing the same outfit almost 30 years later:


I did manage to finsh the Cotton Regia socks:


The pattern is Lizzie’s Lacey Rib Socks from Fluffy Knitter Deb. Scroll down on the sidebar for a list of her free patterns and tips. I modified a bit and replaced my standard heel flap for the short row heel (sorry, Deb – I HATE short row heels). But this is a great pattern and I will definitely do it again. It works well with the less stretchy cotton, but would work equally well with wool. I’d love to see it in a plainer yarn so you could see the lacey rib better, but it looks great with self striping yarns. A very versatile pattern.

This afternoon my husband and I are going back to Dinners Ready for more meals. We were very happy with the first round and it really has kept us from eating out so much. It’s still a bit of a splurge, but certainly less of one than going out.

So, I leave you with this random bit of grandaughterly cuteness: