No harm, no foul!  Check hubby’s comments on my last post.  They’re hilarious.  I was a little alarmed until I remembered that my cashmere shawl was draped across the back of the chair  The errant 60" cable finally arrived from Knitpicks and I was able to get a good photo (dog added for scale):


I really would like to get this done before the start of the Forest Path Stole-a-long, but doubt that will happen.  The rows are getting really, really L…O…N…G.  But this yarn is just heaven to work with.

I did get another project done – the CIC gansey.  This is the Jerrod’s gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book in a size 32 out of Cascade 220.  Cic_8

I’ll mail this off this week along with a pair of fingerless mitts.  Not sure yet what my next CIC project will be, but I’ve got lots of green Cascade 220 left over.

And of course, I’ve been sewing, sewing!  Here is my first official completed project:


Way cute if I say so myself!  I don’t know if the little buttons show up very well in the picture, but they say "U.S.A."  And look at the inside of the little purse:


I’ve given up making cute little hats for Izzy.  She just won’t wear them.  But I have a feeling she will tote around a cute little purse.  Today I’ve been working on a quilt top that I found while cleaning out my sewing room.  Many years ago my mother-in-law wanted to make a Lone Star quilt and I helped her get started.  She never finished it and when she first moved into assisted living, I offered to do it for her.  She said she really wanted to finish it herself.  Now she has moved from assisted living into full time adult care and no longer has the pnysical capabilities to sew so now I am going to finish it for her and give it to her for Mother’s Day.  I am very excited about this project!  I know it will please her so much.  I’m off to attach the borders and maybe I’ll have a picture for you next week.


Remember the Knitting Guidelines I posted at the beginning of the year? Remember the caveat at the end? I quote, “and if any near and dear to me (son, nieces, nephews, exceptionally close friends) announce an impending arrival, baby knitting will commence.” I had a hunch that exception would be needed and I was right. Abby and Ben called us and let us know that grandchild #2 is on the way!!! We are all so excited. No official due date yet, but probably late September or early October. Baby knitting has not quite commenced, but remember these blocks (scroll down)? Long before Izzy was even a dream, I had started her quilt. This quilt was started in the expectation of someday having another grandchild. I worked on that this week and by next weekend hope to have it ready for hand quilting. I’ll probably hold off on the knitting until we know the sex of the baby.

In anticipation of starting the Forest Path Stole-along, I’ve been working hard on the CIC gansey. I’d really like to get it done by the end of this month. I’m in the black hole of sleeve knitting right now – it seems I knit and knit and the sleeves are the same length. Well, maybe not, but it does seem to be slow going:


Of course, I’ve managed to play with my new toy too. some practice embroidery:


I’ve kind of driven myself crazy surfing the internet looking at all the possibilities. They are a little overwhelming. I finally decided I just need to make some actual projects. So yesterday I bought fabric to make Izzy a little dress. I’m anxious to get started on that, but I need to discipline myself to study sometime in the next two days. This class may be easier than Statistics, but it still will require some effort on my part. So either tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning will be spent in the library. Sigh.

Our sewing machine shopping trip was a success! Here I am with my new toy, a Bernina Artista 730


Notice the tiara? They were giving them away with the purchase of a top-of-the line Bernina because when you turn it on you feel like a Princess. At the price, those should have been real diamonds! I have to admit I was struck breathless by the price of the machine, but also by the generosity of my husband in agreeing to the purchase. But this machine does everything. I was a little surprised last night to find that it hadn’t traipsed into the kitchen and done the dishes. Maybe I just haven’t found that program yet. It’s a little overwhelming, though, trying to make it do all the things it can do. I definitely need to go in for the classes that come with it. The shop’s an hour away, off island, so I think I will wait until spring when our weather improves and the days are longer (yes, that is more snow you see out the window).

Here is a rather shadowy picture of my first embroidery project:


I see lots of cute little jumpers and dresses in Izzy’s future! Needless to say, I will most definitely be knitting from my stash this year (and maybe the next). All yarn purchases must now come to a sceeching halt! I did manage to get in one last yahoo at Marilyn’s, using up some store credit from my punch card:


That is the Terra Firma colorway – I definitely need more brown socks in my wardrobe. I’m off to play with my machine before getting ready for church. This is another busy week, with work, class and volunteer training. Hope I can fit some knitting and sewing time in!

What a busy week! I’ve jumped back into the fray after a wonderful Christmas vacation. I worked all four days this week, started school and also started training a new group of volunteers at our church. This will be a three month training with sessions once a week. I don’t need to be there every week and I am only teaching two modules (the first last night), but it still takes up a lot of time.

Two new projects were started (all within the guidelines I posted last week) – a new CIC sweater and the sweater I promised Abby. Here’s the CIC sweater:


I had intended to help Marguerite by test knitting Cozy in Cables, but my wrists just could not handle the doubled worsted on large needles. This is a gansey in single strand worsted and it’s just flying! The back is finished and I am up to the neckline on the front. Basically just the sleeves to go.

And Abby’s sweater:


This is Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere, snagged on sale from Elann. So far I like this yarn very much. The cashmere content is fairly low, but enough to give the yarn a little more spring than plain cotton. The color is just a tad darker than the photo.

A lot of progress has also been made on the Faorese shawl with the cashmere I received for Christmas:


I wish I could get a better picture, but you can blame the USPS. I ordered a longer cable from Knit Picks, but the postal service seems to have lost my package. According to the tracking number, it’s been at our local post office for three days, but they say that it’s not there and the closest guess is that it’s been shipped from here to Seattle. Why, they don’t know! Sigh.

On the school front, this promises to be a much, much easier semester. I’m taking Psychology of Women and it is proving to be quite interesting so far. No, it’s not a male-bashing feminist class, but one examining, on a scientific basis, the issue of gender and the view of women in different socieities. The professor is the same one that taught the dog training class last semester.

Tomorrow hubby and I are going up to Bellingham to look at sewing machines. Before I retire, I would really like to have the machine of my dreams with an embroidery unit. A new Bernina store has opened (or more accurately, re-opened – it’s the old Hank and Bolt, without the yarn) and they are having a grand opening sale. I’m trying very hard not to get my hopes up, but I’m hopeful that they’ll have something in my price range.

Oh, and I’ve joined a knitalong! Debi and her friend are hosting the Forest Path Stole-along. This has been on my wish list since I first saw it, but I’ve been a little intimidated. This is a great chance to do it with a group behind me for support, so I just couldn’t pass it up. To make sure that I’m not running roughshod over my guidelines, I frogged the inch I had done on the sampler stole and will probably revisit that at a later date. I was going to use the cashmere for the Forest Path, but I think it’s just a little on the thin side. Instead I will be using some rose Zephyr that I bought on a yarn crawl with Li last year. The Stole-along starts in February, so I’ll have some pictures for you then!

The house is so quiet! On the positive side, however, I can leave my knitting lying around without fear and Kirby is a little calmer since he doesn’t have to worry about getting stepped on. Hester is bereft because she has lost her main source of snacks. So, on to January reorganization and a look back over 2006. The following projects were completed:

January – Socks that Rock

February – CIC socks, Snowdrop Shawl. Dale Baby Sweater

March – Trekking Socks,

April – Embossed Leaves Socks

May – Austermann Step Socks, Opal Socks

June – Lizzie’s Lacey Rib Socks

July – Dale Baby Set 1, Peacock Feathers

August – Dale Baby Set 2, Izzy’s Cotton Dress, Yarn Trade Socks

September – Old Shale Two Socks, CIC Sweater #1

October – Supersocke Socks and Fingerless Mitts

November – CIC Sweater #2 and two pairs wild and crazy socks

December – Cabled Fingerless Mitts, Izzy’s Christmas Outfit, Izzy Wee Socks and CIC Fingerless Mitts

So there you have it! I actually completed at least one project every single month this past year. No large projects, other than Izzy’s Christmas outfit and no adult sized sweaters. But lots of socks and baby items! Plus two sweaters, one pair socks and one pair fingerless mitts for CIC.

You’ll have to wait to see what I’m working on now because it’s late and I’m off to bed. And guess what? It’s raining – hard – again! Maybe I should forgo sleeping and start on the ark.

Happy New Year! I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Day. On the one hand, it seems to mark the passage of time that increasingly seems to go by way too fast. On the other hand, it marks a chance to make a fresh start and to look forward to a year that holds all sorts of possibilities.

If you remember from last year’s post, I am a great fan of New Year’s resolutions. Who cares if most of them are not kept? I am always lured by the chance to improve and to make needed changes in my life. Even if they are not kept in full, I like to convince myself that small changes are made each year. I won’t bore you with the usual eat healthier/exercise more/declutter, etc. etc. But I will share a rethinking of my knitting philosophy. But before I do, here are some picturess to keep you interested:


This is some of the knitting I’ve accomplished while family was here. The wee socks are for – guess who? I got this yarn from The Loopy Ewe (highly recommended, by the way). It’s by the Yarn Pirate and I was totally sucked in by the colorway – Isobel! So, of course the natural progression was to make little socks for little feet to wear while she was here. They served double duty because yesterday when we went to City Beach park to play, she used them as mittens! I’m sure people looked at her and felt sorry for the poor child who couldn’t afford regular mittens and had to wear socks on her hands! But it doesn’t make much sense to make mittens for an Orlando girl!

The fingerless mitts are for a demonstration I’m giving at our knitting group on Wednesday. We’re doing a year of gloves and mittens and I’ll be presenting fingerless mitts. This is the excellent Diamond Handwarmers (version 3) by Ruth Garcia. These are from Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and will eventually go to CIC.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my knitting philosophy. As in much of my life, I tend to be drawn to very complicated, intricate patterns that are complex and have a higher degree of difficulty. However, I need to accept that those garments usually don’t end up being worn a lot. Part of the problem is that heavily cabled Aran sweaters (which appeal to me) are usually done in worsted or heavier yarn and those garments just are not practical for the milder winters that we have here. Sport weight for outdoor use or fingering for indoor are much more practical. I could rewrite the patterns for the lighter weights of yarn, but I get impatient and just want to cast on right away. So, my goals (knitting-wise) for the New Year are as follows:

1. I will try not to be so impatient and will really give a lot of thought as to the wearibility of a garment before I cast on. If I need to rewrite the pattern for a different yarn, I will buckle down and do it.

2. I will limit my on-the-needle projects to the following: (stop laughing Debi and Marguerite)
a. One sweater
b. One difficult, longterm lace project
c. One shorter term lace project
d. One CIC project
e. One colorwork project
f. One pair socks
g. The Great American Aran afghan
Hmmm – that seems like a lot of projects, but I just don’t think I can get it down any smaller than that. Currently I am over the limit with two sweaters, three difficult longterm lace, one short term lace, one CIC, two colorwork, three (blush!) pairs of socks and the Aran afghan. Some projects will be trimmed by buckling down and completing them before starting another, others will sadly be frogged. Headed for the frog pond: St. Brigid and FLAK (don’t cry for them, they are the heavier Arans I was talking about and probably would never or seldom be worn), The Unst shawl (only about 1 inch completed, so no big loss), and Ingeborg. The last just kills me because I really, really love this sweater and it is lighter weight and would definitely be worn. But if you remember, I was devastated to find holes in the already knitted portion and many weak spots in the yarn. I don’t know if it was due to insects before or after I acquired the yarn, but I just can’t take the risk of continuing on. The yarn has been frozen, microwaved and quarantined and I will have to do some intense consideration on what to do with it.

Remaining on the needles will be the following:

The sampler lace from Victorian Lace today, Icarus, the Alberta shawl with my new cashmere, a new CIC project (more on that next post), Kongsberg (yes, I’m going to finish it this year!!), three pairs socks (blush!) and the Great American Afghan. A new sweater will be started for Abby (one of my Christmas gifts to her). Exceptions to the rules: A small kid size sweater can be started for Izzy any time I darn well please and if any near and dear to me (son, nieces, nephews, exceptionally close friends) announce an impending arrival, baby knitting will commence.

Ok, now do any of you believe one word of that lengthy resolution? As a reward to those of you who have managed to wade through all that, I present baby eye candy:

A kiss for Nana:






Tomorrow they leave for home. : (