Saturday, December 31, 2011

Staying in with Games and Friends

I am knitting between moves for our game night to celebrate New Year's Eve. I am not a big partyier and especially not if I would have to leave the house. It is safer, warmer and less dressy when I do it at home.

I hope everyone is celebrating safely and to their own preference this evening~!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Begin New Projects or After the Holiday Rush

My next BIG project is gnome hats in the granite stitch. I found this pattern in Knitting Today Dec2011/Jan 2012 issue and will be knitting them out of Red Heart SuperSaver for a February event. I have 10 to knit by Feb 1. Here we go!

The first one, pictured here, is done per the pattern without the double knit brim, however for this use it is too small. So, I have gone up to a size 9US needle and am trying it again. This RH yarn is heavier than some and needs some more room to make a decent stitch definition. So far, I think this might be the right combination.

I hope so because I still have 10 to knit and the clock is ticking. I hope everyone has fun projects to start the year~!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Little More Christmas

I had a little more Christmas to celebrate at the folks this week. We watched the new TV and took delivery of mom's new comfy recliner.

I finished the IOU handwarmers so they could be gifted when I got home. As you can see, the "pawprint" is a handy thing to have when measuring for the length of the finished fingerless mitts.

All in all, this has been a fabulous holiday season. I hope yours was a well~!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After

Today will be spent reorganizing and making lists of things that have to be finished by year-end.

And possibly doing a little bit of resting, like my sister's big kitty, Brady, is doing in front of the fire yesterday. Doesn't he look peaceful?

I hope everyone has time to rest and relax today~!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

May you enjoy the season with family and friends, rest and eat lots, drink eggnog and jingle all the bells you find.

Life is about the little things and the time spent with loved ones.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reflections of the Season

Glitter glue, yarns of every hue,
Needles clicking, clock is ticking.

Now its done, let the fun begin,
Need a nap, it's a wrap.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday version you celebrate, and a Happy, Healthy New Year~!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Done! Until Next Year

Whew! I am done with gift knitting for another year.

And I only have one IOU in the batch. That is for a friend's matching handwarmers. Those should be done by New Year, if I am lucky.

No promises for next year. I have to come up with what I can do for everyone that they will use and enjoy. For now, I will think about that later~!

Note: this is how one of the felted clogs got decorated for skid-proof wearing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Time with Family

I got to go see the Christmas Donkey play in Cripple Creek with my folks. We drove home in a blizzard afterwards but it was really worth it.

Then I spent some time wrapping gifts and elfing with mom. We added some final ornaments to their tree and I got two more knitted gifts finished before I came home. It was a great way to spend time with the family and celebrate the season~!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The List is Getting Longer

or is that just my imagination? I thought by now that I would be marking off more items as they were finished not adding last minute knits to the list. This seems to be what I am doing. Thank goodness, I already have the supplies to create these last-minute items. At least it does not involve more shopping this late in the game.

I reorganized the list and have cast on the last two MUST DO BY DECEMBER 24th gifts. Everything else can be done after the 25th. I will only have a couple partial gifts with IOUs attached. I think that is great.

Knitting and eggnog, good combination for the season~!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Bouquet of Pre-Fulled Beauty

Here they are, ready for the washing machine, ready for the fulling process. I usually call them "felted" clogs when they are done, however, I was reminded that felting is a different process done with rovings or raw wool whereas "fulling" is what is done to something that is knitted from wool.

I think these will be very cute when they are fulled and will be worn with much pleasure. I hope everyone is finishing their projects and learning new things as they go~!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pile O' Yarn - Progress Report

The pile of yarn that was destined for slippers is finally starting show its shape. I have the first pair done, brown and pinks, the second pair - halfway done and with fuzzy cuffs - too cute; and the third pair is in the small size so I expect them to knit up really fast.

That was my plan: to knit the them from the largest size down so it seems like I am getting done faster. So far, that plan seems to be working.

The goal is to have them finished and in for fulling by Sunday. That gives them a week to dry completely before they have to be gifted.

Warm feet are great gifts to give to your loved ones~!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Break From Knitting Means Another Fabric Craft

Today I created a Festive Fabric Garland from a pattern procured from a magazine, fabric pieces provided by a friend, ribbon from final holiday sales, twine and a teeny tree from the hardware store.

Another friend is crocheting a tree skirt to go around the bottom and it will serve as a landing zone for my Xmas ducks.

I will be knitting some teeny mittens and hat from a free pattern offered by Morehouse Farm. (If you do not get this newsletter in your inbox, you should).

As you can see, Pedro could not help but be fascinated in my project. The next step is to try to keep him from knocking it over. Hopefully the threat of coal flavored catnip toys will be enough, or not. Really, he leaves things alone when I am not home.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Push is On!

Only 12 days to go and the final push to finish the knitted gifts has begun!  I still have to turn this pile of fiber into more gifts.

Is it possible? YES!

Will it be done on time? maybe.

Am I having a great time doing it? YES!

Will I try to do this again next year? Probably.

Do I need my head examined? Nah.

I hope everyone has their home stretch in sight and are ready for a well-deserved rest and some eggnog~!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bobble Cowl

This was a very fun knit. I found this pattern in the Knit Simple magazine for  Winter 2011. It is one of the two-skein projects.

I knit this one for my hairdresser who also teaches driving techniques to teenagers, which means she is in and out of cars during our cold winters. She told me her favorite color is fuschia. I hope this yarn colorway comes close enough. The yarn I found at the Yarn Outlet and is Donata by Adrienne Vittadini in a bulky weight.

I used the provisional cast on and used one skein for 61 rows. The second skein came real close to the finish but I did break into a third to finish. It is a really fast knit and the bobbles are fun to make.

Happy Knitting to All~!

Note: Holiday knitting goes great with eggnog.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Stitch of the Month Club - PARTY!

What a morning we had with a mini fashion show and nosh-y tidbits. It was a great way to end the year.

We learned lots of new knit stitches and had lots of laughs.

Thank you to all who participated, I appreciated all the ideas and interest you added to my year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Coolest Hat Ever

This is the coolest hat pattern ever! I knit this in a scant two days. Now, granted, it is knit out of ((5)) Bulky yarn, and it knits very fast.

The pattern is purchased from Faina Goberstein  on Ravelry and is called the Two Way Beanie. I knit it out of Bernat Softee Chunky in the Lavendar colorway. In the visor brim, I used craft foam.

I plan to knit at least two more before Christmas for gifts.

I hope everyone has found really great and fast knits for gifts this year~!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bottle Bags

I have finished the bottle bags with and without a bottom. I like both looks. The green one will get some embellishment on the tie. The red one will not, mostly because you have to use the tie to open and close the sack when you use it.

These are lots of fun to knit and hopefully well received as gifts.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another Fun Holiday Knit

Here is a really fun knit that will make a great gift for anyone who loves to take a bottle of wine to gatherings. The pattern came to me from Red Heart and is their Jolly Holiday e-book that you can download for free at this link.

It has something for both knitters and crocheters. The best part is most of the pattterns are really fast to create. I had two of these bottle sweaters done in a couple of days. The second one, not pictured here, I added a closed bottom to. It feels more secure to carry it.

The green one, pictured, is knit out of I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby, in the Sparkle style. I am going to add some embellishments to these, maybe using large jingle bells. I hope everyone is finding new ways to celebrate the Season~!

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Table Full of Fun

My latest project is to design cute thank you gifts for my stitch of the month club members. Most of them have hung in with me for the first year and we have learned a lot.

I want them to know how much I appreciate their interest and sharing this love of knitting. We are gathering for a final meeting in 2011 and will be celebrating our successful learning.

It is fun to have like minded folks share the fun~!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

30 Days to Go

More is always better, at least when it comes to knitting projects to keep me productive and focused.

I lucked into a commission job to knit gifts for office mates for one of my neighbor/friends.

We braved Joann's for Doorbuster coupons today and came away with enough for seven gifts and a couple stray skeins for another projects I had on the list. What fun was that! It was so crazy in the store that there was even a line to get a cart.

So I am working on this pile as well as the things I have on my list for family gifts.

Happy gift knitting to all~!

Friday, November 25, 2011

No Black Friday for Me

I have made great inroads to completing my gift list this year with the knitwear for all motto.

There are still things on the needles that I have to finish, some yet to start and those that have to be mailed are ready to go before the USPS deadlines. I am very pleased with the progress.

The only shopping I am planning is for tomorrow to gather some more supplies - yes, yarn, more - but for gift specific items. That is allowed in a yarn diet, I am sure of that.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend and successful shopping~!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

What are you thankful for?

Me? I am thankful for family, friends, faithful blog readers, like-minded enthusiasts, home and hearth, good food, a warm pussycat who always likes seeing me come home, opportunities, change in routine, and the amazing world we live in.

I hope everyone has the chance to express who and what they are thankful for this year~!
(and pie)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ducks, Ducks and More Ducks

My Evil Elf brother knows my affinity for rubber ducks so he sent me some foreign exchange ducks from Greece.

Seen here, they are happily adjusting to life in the USA, sitting in my bathroom sink soap dish. Aren't they the cutest? Let's hear a round of OPA in their honor.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Cowl

My mother's birthday came and went this year. So I am doing a fast knit with her favorite colors and a new yarn I discovered for a belated gift.

This yarn is one from the new Red Heart Boutique line called Midnight. It is in the colorway Shadow and is in pinks and greys. It has a little hint of glitter to it. The ball band says that it is a worsted ((4)) weight however it calls for size 10US needles.

So, I decided that it was destined to be a Cowl'd and Frosty cowl. I knit it just like the pattern calls for and it is turning out beautifully.

This will be gifted on Turkey Day, only a week late. Whew!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shadow: Learning a New Technique

Shadow knitting aka illusion knitting seems more like magic than actual work. I started a shop sample and discovered I cannot put it down. All I want is to see more of the image emerge from my needles. I started with a very simple piece to be a washcloth.

The book I am using is by Vivian Hoxbro called Shadow Knitting. It has some lovely wearables in it and I want to do the rainbow jacket on page 88. Until then I will just learn the basics and hope to be able to photograph it to show here on the blog later in the month.

I hope everyone is finding a new technique they want to get excited about~!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Knitting

What's on your needles for holiday knitting?

I have lots of things that are secrets, however I can share that felted clogs make awesome gifts for those that live in colder climes.

Other great ideas are cowls or scarves, hats and mittens. My other favorite thing to knit is fingerless handwarmers. They can worn over those little magic gloves you find at dollar stores and indoors if you work in a cool office and have to be able to type and try to keep warm.

Most of the above ideas are a one-size fits most which makes it a lot easier on the gift knitters. I hope everyone has fun, secret projects they are working on. And, don't forget to knit something for yourself~!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Casting On: The Fourth Quarter Challenge for Loopy Ewe

I have wound the yarn and found the needles for the Dew Drop Cowl. This is my fourth quarter challenge for Loopy Ewe. It involves knitting a full skein or more of a Madelinetosh Yarn. I chose the sport weight option in the Alizann colorway. It is in a red-purple tonal.

I have to have this finished, blocked and photo'd by January 1st so I can get it posted to the gallery for challenge-met credit. I hope the pattern is as easy as it looks.

I will be casting on today and using it as travel knitting for next week. I have other secret knits on other needles that have to be done at home because they are too bulky to go with me.

I hope everyone has taken a little time to knit something for themselves~!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Another HP Hat

I am doing a fast knit on another Harry Potter House colors hat for the family in Germany. The other sets were received in mid-October and everyone loved them. One hat was not a good fit, The Evil ELf aka my brother, said the beanie design makes him look like he is wearing the Pope's hat.

So I foound the leftover Gryfffindor colors last night and found a pattern to make a better fitting beanie without the odd decrease indicated in the pattern from Charmed Knits.

The pattern I am using is Quick and Easy Knit Picks Beanie by Toni Carr. I cast on the number of stitches from the large size in the HP Beanie and am doing the ribbing as indicated in the Knit Picks pattern. I will be adding one stripe of gold at about the three-inch mark, the rest is done in the maroon.

I hope to have it in the mail to him by the next week so he can be wearing it for family outings.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's the Little Things - A Stash-Buster Idea

While I have been playing with the beehive look, I discovered a very fun thing to do with the leftovers from the Red Heart Shimmer skein which I used for the red set, shown previously.

I knit cuffs, using the same technique, that can be used when indoors and you just need some warmth with a little glitz. Then I found a pair of the Magic Gloves, that are found this time of year for a little price and stretch to fit most hands, with a red beadazzled heart on them. The cuff is not attached to the gloves, just placed over the cuff of the glove, and then you can pull the glove off and leave the cuff on if you like.

This set is seriously cute. I am really pleased with the outcome. The pattern for the entire set will be available soon through Ravelry. I will be making that announcement here on the blog when it is ready to go.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sign of the Times

Pedro says that is starting to get a little cool in the house and momma says no heat until Thanksgiving. He is snuggling on the bed with his M&M buddies. Notice how Orange is hugging him.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time Change and the Ultimate Use of I-Cord

The time has fallen back and my happy lights are purple for this month. I will be adding white lights to the mix this week and maybe change to multis in December. This way I am happier about coming home from work in the dark. It will only be 54 or so days that the days are this long, then we start the other direction.

In knitting news, I am working on a cowl that is created by knitting i-cords out of bulky yarn on bigger needles then stacked and sewn together. It is a Vogue pattern and a very fun idea. The one I am doing is out of Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky in purple.

I hope everyone has a fun project to great the shorter days~!

Picture from pattern at the Vogue free pattern site.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Handwarmers: One of My Favorite Things to Knit

I have created a pattern for fingerless handwarmers to match the beehive hat. They are so cute out of the matching yarn and used up most of the second skein I had to buy to finish the hat. This will make a really good gift for someone, or I may have to keep it for my own, have not decided yet.

I wore them today and received lots of comments on them. They are so warm and handy to have along. I think these may be mine.

One another note: I have knit another set for a gift and the hat became a more versatile item - a cowl, and the handwarmers to match. I think the recipient will really appreciate them and they are in her favorite color with a little glitter mixed in.

I hope everyone has a favorite pursuit~!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Snow Day! What's On Your Needles?

The first snow day is the most exciting, at least it is for me. It reminds me that I live in snow country and had better be assessing what needs to be done before it gets colder. Today's snow is cold and very wet. The ground is too warm still for it to stick for very long, so I had to get these pictures early.

On my needles is a pair of handwarmers, another cowl, and the first pair of felted clogs - destined for a family Christmas gift. That should keep me busy for the day. Needless to say, I am doing other things besides knitting, however the knitting is the most fun.

I hope everyone does something fun on their first snow day~!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Once Upon A Time - Yarn and a New Show

So, the writers of LOST are back and they have concocted a new, far-out view of the world. Once Upon A Time debuted on ABC last night. I thought it was very fun and has potential to be a good show. Have to admit, it is not LOST, but it is different than any other network shows out this season. That alone is a good reason for me to give it a chance.

And I found a new yarn, Red Heart Boutique - Treasures - which I have knit into a beehive looking hat. Love the yarn and the pattern, have to do/get more. The hat pattern was designed for Noro Kureyon, which I am not a huge fan of, and it took over a skein of the Treasures yarn. I have enough leftover for a pair of fingerless handwarmers. I am going to try to knit them with a matching cuff.

The hat is super warm and cute. I have enough yarn to knit another one with handwarmers as a gift. Not sure who will be the lucky recipient yet, but I will find someone~!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Foray into Designing

I have been reviewing stitch dictionaries, looking for a group of techniques that will translate well into a cowl.

Cowls are my favorite way to stay warm without scarf tails. I have knit a bunch of very simple ones for gifts, charity drives and my own use. Currently I keep two in the car in different weights and two at the door with my jackets. Most of the use very little yarn and can be knit in weights from bulky, like a  Malabrigo Rasta one, to laceweight, like Pretty Thing by the Yarn Harlot.

My current pattern, in test mode, is a ribbed eyelet one that I just finished and will be making it available on Ravelry once the test knitting is complete.

Friday, October 14, 2011

UFO Update: The Knit One Below Reversible Vest

Remember this project? It was started last spring and has now sat in the UFO pile while I worked on a pile of other things. Now it is time to finish it.

I picked it up this weekend and reviewed where I am and where I am going on the pattern. It looks like I am really close to splitting it out to finish the back and fronts. That should not take too long. I will be working on this while I take breaks to knit felted clogs for Christmas gifts.

I hope everyone is whittling away at their UFO pile~!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

High Country Autumn:
Green, Gold, Brown, Down.

Early autumn

Aspen gold

Came and fell.

Old-timers say

Early winter coming

We scurry to prepare

Fuel, food, insulate

before October’s exit.

Scrub oak lingers

Rust, gold and orange

reminder of 70's shag carpet

Warm days, cold nights


Bundled up for morning frost

Stripped down for BBQ warm afternoons

Be prepared and flexible for change,

Our autumn motto.

Copyright: DonnaW 2011

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cowl and Handwarmer Set

I have been working on a cowl and handwarmer set for my dad. It is that time of year when he really starts to notice that it is not as warm as he would like it. I have knit this set out of a color that my mother can easily find in the house if they get mislaid.

I used the Cowl'd and Frosty cowl pattern by Kelly Herdich. It is written for chunky weight yarn and I retrofit it for worsted weight. I cast on 83 stitches on a size 8US on 16-inch circular. I knit the pattern as called for, two reps of rows 1-15 and one more rep of rows 1-4,  and ended up with a finished size of 20 by 6 inches. It fits beautifully and works well for men or women. I can make a case for doing three reps of rows 1-15 for a longer finished width. May do that on one for me soon. Also, if you want to do a looser drape on the worsted, try a size 9US needle and see what you get.

To finish up the set, I knit a pair of handwarmers using the Charmed Knits mitten pattern as a guide. For dad, I knit the small size and bound off the thumb gusset stitches instead of adding more rows to come up the thumb. I think they look great and give you lots of flexibility while keeping your hands warm.

All in all, a great knit and a fast gift item. Everyone can use them~!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Indian Summer

Now that we have had our first reminder that we live in and very near Snow Country, the Indian Summer weather is in place for this week. The mornings will be cold and the days pleasant. This is my favorite time of year. This is the view my dumpster has, can't beat this.

And, while the weather is this good, I am knitting away on the items that will be needed by the end of the month, warm things to go around the neck and hands.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

UFO Update: The Twined Cowl

The twined cowl that I started last year at this time as a sample to knit along with the class has been frogged and the yarn repurposed for another upcoming class.

I was not really expecting to wear this particular item so decided that it was better to use the yarn somewhere else.

These are some of the decisions that have to be made when you are going through your UFOs. My theory is if you are not actively working on it, then maybe your interest in the final product has waned.

I hope everyone is having a glorious start to their Fall~!