Thursday, December 25, 2008

That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles

December snuck up on me really quickly this year and yet now it's nearly over...
Today is Christmas, at least what we celebrate in our household here in New England...Despite some recent rains, it
still is a white christmas outside....Quite recently we had a rather horrible
icestorm and lost electricity close to 24 hours. There were some branches
hanging pretty low over the pool out back, photos all taken from upstairs
open windows as I wasn't venturing outside anytime soon!

About this time also, had my second cookie swap and had camera along with the cookies. Took some closeups of cookies, a view of table, and could not resist
a quick sneak photo of this hostess' lovely staircase all decorated...She reads
this blog, so sure to spot it! Hope she does not mind me sharing a quick peek
with rest of world!

Was poking around for an interesting pattern to knit and suddenly came across
the following site, which I actually had never heard of and absolutely had to
share this great find.
It's called Pop Knits and can be found here:

There's a brief description on site by them as follows:

"Over the past few years, knitting vintage items has become popular again.
Whether the item is a revamped sweater from the pages of Vogue Knitting 1955
or a new take on doily patterns as shawls, vintage knitting is taking a modern
turn. Inspired by the thrift store finds sitting on our bookshelves, Popknits challenges you to take a new look at all things that have come before".

This site was recently created by avid knitter/blogger Stephanie J Pajonas.
They are already on their second issue and not only is this free to subscribe
to for their online site, but all the patterns are free also. Be sure and
check out the "La-La-Love-You Cowl" by Sandra Park which is most
definitely on my must knit list!

Finally a finished knitting photo to share...and how appropriate...a cookie man.

I would claim he's made of just molasses and assorted spices...but in reality,
he is yet another pattern from I guess one of my ultimate all time favorite
designers Alan Dart and of course out of my Simply Knitting magazine.
Frosting is a simple back chain stitch...and the coal like decorations are black
chunky misshapen beads...oh so coal like.

Ho Ho Ho
and hoping everyone whatever holiday they celebrate, including Boxer Day, got
lots of lovely yarnish goodies!
I got a few special fiberish treats myself, which I will have to photo for next
blog and share!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Lights Gone Wild

It's been a long eventful week with loads of things to post, but
since it's after 10:30pm on a Monday night and photos are still all
on camera, I think I will do my week of lotsa stuff to share on
Tuesday night-tomorrow.
Had found this questionnaire that lots of folks are doing, so
previously had started to do it goes....

SP 13 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you
absolutely *not* like?
Favorite yarn: I particularly loved knitting with Baby alpaca Grande
and Blue Sky there an alpaca theme going there...hmmm.
I am not crazy about knitting with fun fur type yarns...who can actually
see your stitches or even if you dropped one and
when it comes to seaming these projects...don't even get me started.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
sewing up needles- a tic tac mint container and knitting needles- a very
old sewn needle holder that have had for many years.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider
your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting since a child, mother taught me basics, and self taught
all the more complicated stuff, i.e. lace, fair isle, cables...
I consider myself intermediate...have been told I am a beginner and others say
advanced...who knows.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? nope, should I guess.

5. What’s your favorite scent?
lavender, and jasmine.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
NO, But weakness for taffy, especially banana. oh and barley pops.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I am a new spinner, have a loom, but not crazy about beading and
jewelery making, card making, and crochet. oh and fimo.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Any music especially European hits and broadway musical tunes. I am ok with MP3.

9. What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?
I love purples and greens.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married, 3 sons, one elderly dog, 3 cats, 3 fish. Yes it does sound like
I am two dogs short huh.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, yes, yes and yes.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Currently fair isle. Hats, mittens, misc. probably top choices.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Do I really have to fess up to all of them...
gingerbread man, fingerless gloves, hat, whatever else I've
forgotten...yarn fumes affect my memory that way.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Double points are my weapon of choice, usually bamboo, but if size 0000-1, I
have to use aluminum as I just break those bamboos left and right. Sigh!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, I have both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
gone to get tissues as crying over this...thank goodness for yarn fumes...having
memory loss again...certainly longer than I want to admit to. How long has it
been since the dinosaurs roamed the earth?

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
Probably Halloween. celebrate Christmas.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Sheep, not real ones, but trying hard to figure out a way to, knitting
magazines, at least it appears like I do, Dickens Houses, and cookbooks,
have about 300 is that considered a collection, insane or actually normal
for most folks....just wondering.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get
your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
If I could have any of books by Alice Starmore or any Alan Dart patterns
I don't already have...that's a hard one, i've pretty much got them all
covered. I subscribe to Simply Knitting from UK costs a small fortune...
think son's college payment is but do it for Alan Dart
patterns and find myself knitting other lovelies as well.
But I adore any knitting books or mags, especially Australia mags,
British mags, and Japanese books.

21. Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
Everything! Hot on my list is double knitting, and shadow/illusion knitting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, but not obsessed at moment. foot is size 7 shoe USA

23. When is your birthday?
February 3

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what’s your ID?
yes, sheepish1, same as Plurk, same as blog, same as facebook, same as Stickam,
same as Skype, same as sure it's elsewhere too.

Finally recently....
Found on U-Tube ...Christmas Lights Gone Wild

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trading Places

Okay so just home from my Monday night knitting group that meets in a Starbucks
in Sudbury. We are a rather large group, meaning we basically take over most
of Starbucks, and it's great fun as we are all in multiple directions with our knitting. I find we all inspire one another and it's not uncommon to go in a
week or two later and found someone knitting precisely what another person just successfully finished previously. i.e. I wore my calorimetry one week to group,
I think last year, and went back following week to find at least 4 members had
made one too. What a great group photo.

Anyway, Starbuck's has these new awesome must have cabled knit ceramic mugs. I
bought one tonight for one of our many group knitting yankee swaps coming up, but....I am rather in love with thinking I might have to just go back
and pick up another one.

Also they had these lovely wreaths, yarn themed (balls wrapped in yarn)
too displayed around store.

They don't appear to be for sale...but it sure does make you feel welcome as a
knitter to have your favorite coffee shop decorated with lovely yarnish things.

Knitting Tip of the Day:
I learned yet another cool new knitting trick on my current project. I love
to knit on double points, but this would work too on circular needles.
When casting on and you go to join in one continuous round, it's always
difficult to get a secure joining. I have tried several tricks, and my
favorite up until now, was to cast on one extra stitch more than pattern
calls for. I always knit first row according to directions, and when I
get to final (extra stitch), I slipped that stitch purlwise then knit
first stitch of new second row and slipped the extra stitch over this
first stitch.

The new way is called "Trading Places."
1. cast on number of stitches called for in pattern.
2. then use tip of right needle to move the first stitch on left needle
to the right needle
3. then use tip of left needle to lift current second stitch on right
needle up and over the first and put it back on left needle. This will
now become the first stitch you knit.
It pulls work all up together nice and snug. I gave both ends a further
tug just to help close the join. I think I prefer this way to above,
but both work like a charm.
I found this latest great tip in the Knit Socks! book by
Betsy Lee McCarthy.

Blog of the Day is Crafty Pod and can be found blogging here:

Evidently it's also a podcast, so I will have to go to I-Tunes and check
this one out. There is something on this blog for everyone.

I especially like these salt dough cookies.

What's on the Needles for me:
actually a tv nonconcentration project....lace scarf, 100% very soft alpaca
lace pattern actually very simple, 4 row repeat so easy to remember. and it's
almost done and ready to photo plus it's COLD outside!
Am I ever glad I knitted all those really warm hats!

I also have a strange (nonwearable) item going, slow progress though as I am
writing my very own sock pattern...of course it's fair isle.
Staying with just 3 colors....slow going as I have been having gauge issues.
Even though it was meant to be a sock, it initially would have fit around my
head, so have been doing a whole lot of tinking and swatching and now
I think I may have it.. at least it looks like a sock.

Besides these projects...ah there a rule about how many
projects you can have going at once....and please don't run over to
Ravelry and poke into my WIP list there...anyway, am also doing fingerless gloves...fair isle of course.
and remember it's gotten far too cold here!. They are all wool. One is
finished. see photo.

The pattern is from Classic Elite Yarns the Inca Alpaca Fair Isle Mitts.
Pattern can be found here:
and yes it's a freebie, and for me was rather fun. I hope there isn't such a
thing has second mitt syndrome...I am pretty sure that is just limited to socks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

An Eggceptional Usage of Hats

Day 30 is here and plan on going out in a big way...ummm...actually a
miniature "I guess" way, but eggceptional none the less.
and before you tee hee and giggle, I just want you to know it's really
cold in my refrigerator and yes I do feel everyone should have a nice
warm hand knitted hat.

As you can guess by all these photos, there were no takers for any of my
knitted hats amongst my relatives at Thanksgiving get together. All my
wonderful arguments in favor of hats went on deaf (and now soon to be cold)
family member ears. Sigh!

On that note, and since I've now run out of heads to dress. I've resorted to
making hats for my pets and household food products.

Okay so I thought about this yesterday, that on Monday it would be my last
official hat and 30 days of posting, and of course I am itching to knit anything
now but hats. Everything else looks good to me, even socks these days.
Did i honestly type that part about the socks...hmmmm.
Anyway, it's gotten really, really cold here in New England, and I have
decided to knit warm and comfy things, like hats...but yes my personal
collection of hats is now bursting at the have turned to gloves
and mittens...and of course, they have to be fair isle...yup still obsessed....does that wear off?

Anyway, today Monday the final day, it's actually warm outside...go figure...
so I planted my bulbs, I had given up on this idea as thought ground was
already frozen or so I thought.

And then in a short break, I started yet a new project....those that are new to
my blog would not know that I have a certain weakness for knitting the strange
and obscure....I have no idea what the wierdest thing I've ever knitted before
has been.
It usually begins with a thought and then I wonder if I could make that. and so I do.
From actual working wall clock, random Nintendo game figures, to knitted
garden tools, to 3-D parrots life-size on hanging ring, to water (yup knitted water) to rare breed spotted salamanders, etc....and many more, these patterns and
ideas (some no patterns) just call to me. So of course some of these
new creations snuck onto my needles today and all I can say is let the wacky knitting begin....stay tuned for a new weekly blog. Current project is a
little extreme, but perfect for December!

Also planned for December, is gloves and mittens...not such a stockpile of
those and sadly I believe the cold will be back soon...and if I run out of
takers for fair isle mittens, there are always the pets....perhaps the 3 little
kittens will find their mittens!

Oops Blog of the
Day nearly forgot: I searched Cat and Knitting and Blog for fun to follow up
my cat theme and came up with this....
Cat's Blog

I can't believe she is spinning Qiviut and there are photos of it her things.
That Morning Surf scarf is gorgeous and also love, love that Mystic Light shawl, amongst other projects.
Nice eye candy here!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

One More Day To Go

Coming to the end now of 30 days of Hats...and almost done NABloPoMo....
others are done today...but I started one day I plan to post
my last day on December 1st and hope to go out with a bang...Fun hat
planned for tomorrow.
Today's hat is what to do with that leftover sock yarn hat...

Yup this is my go to baby hat done in self-striping leftover sock yarn with
a contrasting pompom added also made from same yarn.

Hat 2 (yes am posting two today)
still not finished is a more complex fair isle project only two colors.
I especially like the braid first. It's a twined herringbone edge.
This hat is the Turkish-Patterned Cap from Hats On! by Charlene Schurch.
I am eventually planning on posting finished pic, but as it won't be done today
or tomorrow and I have another hat set for tomorrow, will post it as a partial
hat as of today.

Blog of the day is: Fig and Plum
It's a little knitting, a little travel, and some yummy, yummy food...Love this
This blog is by Jessica from Brooklyn, NYC and can be found here:


Saturday, November 29, 2008

In Which I Meet Louisa Harding

Today's hat is another low budget hat, which anyone could make. It is yet
again from Hip Knit Hats...yup really love that book.
It's called the Nina Hat.

My hat is knit with Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair yarn in Rainforest
most likely purchased with a coupon from AC Moore, although had been in
the stash for awhile. It has a cute roll brim and fits me nicely and as
I like the colors, it is in my own personal collection. I added the
crocheted little flower and leaf with added little buttons.
I am forever adding doodads to finished items.

Today's blog is: Feltmeupdesigns.
I was reading the special issue of Interweave Felt Magazine, and found this blog
listed under notables and had to have a looksee...It's really a lot of fun and
of course want to be sure and share it with everyone else so the perfect choice
for today's blog. How cute are these little felted birdies.

I could not find much of a bio on her...but seems we share same nickname, we
are both Mel' cool. She can be found here:

Back to Knitting Guilds and special speakers they sponsor who come and teach us
new things and even let us model their latest knitted treasures. This past
month, November, my Boston, Massachusetts Daytime guild hosted none other
than Louisa Harding of Knitting Little Luxuries fame and also ROWAN....
She is not from the US but from County Yorkshire England...
very lucky us.

She presented to our guild then had a small impromtu fashion show of our members
wearing her garments. She then stayed thru Sunday, and taught classes in a
lovely little yarn shop in Salem, MA. about 1 1/2 hours from my house.
Yes Salem the home of the famous witchcraft trials in Massachusetts.
It was my very first visit to Seed Stitch Fine Yarns yarn shop.
My initial impression was very bright and airy. Staff were very
helpful and so nice.

First two photos are of the yarn shop.

Next up is Louisa showing us and explaining how they came to be her
Miss Bea Collection books. I actually bought one of these and had her
autograph it along with a few other books, will blog about those another
day, as no photos tonight.

a few pics from fashion show.

Then some pics from our class, including a finished pic of bag we were making
in our class. First photo was Louisa showing us how to make cording for our
bags, her assistant Adam (aka one of her yarn reps) was holding other end of 5 strands of yarn at once to make the cording. I also forgot to mention this
class was held on same day as my first cookie swap. Lucky for
me a friend swapped my cookies for me. I made them Sat. and since Louisa said
her favorite cookies were peanut cookies to me on Thursday at our guild meeting,
I made peanut, chocolate, and caramel cookies for the swap but brought
along extras for Louisa and the group. This is now my family's new favorite
cookie, which they claim is "way too good for a cookie swap."
They did go very quickly in class and folks there wanted recipe too.

Oops almost forgot my way too good for a cookie swap cookies...Yummmm!

Friday, November 28, 2008

That Wild and CRaZy Colored Stash Busting Hat

Hey there that's one funky hat you're sporting there...
okay so I found this new hat pattern, which called for bulky yarn scraps...
which I had of course, did they match or harmonize together...not exactly,
so here goes.

I knitted this one on car trip yesterday, along with my regular fair isle
project...still in progress.

It was fun and fast to knit...
It's from Knit Hats! by Gwen Steege...and is actually the cover hat from
same book. Hat is called appropriately....Color Me Bright.
I cannot tell you any of the yarns they were only bits and pieces
and labels long since gone...but any bulky weight scraps will do. Knit on
#10 circ.'s or double points it goes really fast.

Equally wild colors is this really cool blog I found while surfing around
in blogosphere Zebra Knits.
This is by far one of my favorites, her colours are awesome...wait until you
see the way she photos her knitting and general everyday life. It appears
to take on a life of it's own and kind of floats across her blog pages!
Fantastic job! She can be found blogging at address below:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving in our house means all of us being thankful for once again
to be able to go see family and catch up on everyone's goings on.
Many of my relatives actually the majority of both sides are
in New Hampshire, so we travel by car to meet in a relative's home...this is
bonus knitting time for me about 2 hrs. one way, so can't wait.
I also hope to persaude family members that they really would like
knitted gifts this year...wish me luck.
It would not be Thanksgiving fact, I was told I have to have
this item as my holiday entrance ticket
my Trifle.

This is a very popular recipe so probably most recognize this and I always
make it by just putting it together -no recipe...By the way, if anyone is
interested in recipe, will write up and post to blog
...just let me know.
have lost count number of times I have made it...certainly way more than say pancakes.
Yup every Easter and Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember.
It's basically Chocolate fudge cake, layered with coolwhip,
layered with a special brand of dark chocolate pudding,
layered with crushed Heath Bars, and repeat...I used to put Kahlua in
the layers, but then the kids came along, and somehow now that they are in
high school and college, the Kahlua never made it back in again. Strangely,
it's one dessert I really don't care for, but then I am a fruit lover...
so someone usually brings cherry pie...which has the same reaction for me!

i.e. I am going home now and am taking this whole cherry pie with a fork
for long car ride back home as a snack if I get hungry. Of course, I really
just have my token king-sized piece...but I always think of that
just the same!

I hope to be able to blog when I get home late Thanksgiving night...but if not,
I will be back again on Friday...that insane holiday shopping day of the year,
happily blogging instead! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that reads my blog and
even those that don't!