Updated patterns!

I'm in the process of updating my old patterns, particularly the bibs, to include charts. I'm rewriting some of the directions to make the patterns even easier and including alternative methods for beginning the bibs and for making the ties. Look for these patterns in the sidebar to see which ones have been added. It's a slow process, but eventually, they'll all be there!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

And the winner is. . .

I attended the New England Sheep and Wool Festival last month in West Springfield, MA.  This is the second year they've held it there and it was so much fun.  I like it even better than Rhinebeck.  It's just the right size and there are tons of wonderful vendors there.  One of the vendors was the Discontinued Brand Name Yarns (DBNY) booth.  I signed up for their free emails and free patterns.  You should definitely check them out as they literally have hundreds of free patterns for all yarn weights.  Oh and did I mention that they also have fantastic deals on brand name yarns?  For Black Friday they had a special event whereby one lucky shopper would receive all their purchases for the weekend free!  They put a special card in with one order and, as you might have guessed, I won it!!  I had spotted a sale on my beloved Tofutsies and so I snapped up four skeins at less than half price. If only I had known I was the winner, I would have picked up lots more!  LOL!!  You do have to keep a sharp eye out if you want a bargain, as their inventory does move out quickly!  Still, I'm just thrilled, especially since I felt so guilty buying something for myself this time of year.  (Well, only a little guilty!)

On the knitting front, the blanket is continuing to grow.  I've finished another row, but already I'm starting to think about another project.  I did cast on for some baby socks, but only because I might need a quick portable project. (yeah, right!)  I'm really trying to keep my focus on the blanket and get it done before it becomes a chore!  In the meantime, I'll show you some socks I finished up over the past few weeks.  You do want to look at something, right?

These green ones are the Lightly Textured pattern from Kathleen Taylor's Big Book of Socks. They're done in Tofutsies (what else) and I did an eye of partridge heel, just for a change.

This pattern is the Purl Bump pattern also from Kathleen's BBOS and again in Tofutsies.

Jack has decided that he likes rainbow yarn the best, so I made this pair out of Regia Ringle.  It's a fun pattern from Adrienne Fong called "Send in the Clowns."  I changed it up, just a little, to fit his small feet.  Lots of interesting stitches to keep you from being bored.

This is a little pair that I sneaked in for our little "Suzie" (not her name, but it's what we use until she makes an appearance and properly introduces herself!)  This is a free pattern on Ravelry called " Textured Tootsies.  Again with the Tofutsies! 

Since I'm talking about socks, I thought I would also share a couple of my sock "toys" with you as well.  These are my new stitch markers from Jeanette Jed on Etsy.  As I said before, I just love her markers.  They're so easy to use, lightweight and fairly inexpensive, especially, if you have to keep replacing the lost ones!  This new set is perfect for socks when you get to the decreases for the gussett.  Usually, I can just tell which row I'm on, but every once and awhile, if I'm watching something exciting on tv, or more likely . . .day dreaming, I tend to forget to do the decreases.  These are so easy to use and are a good reminder to pay attention!

She also sells this little set, although I find myself using the other ones most of the time! 

Now where was I?  Okay, two more for show and tell.  This pair I knit with Loops & Threads Luxury Sock yarn.  I picked it up at Michael's and thought I would just try it.  I have to say that I hated the colorway and I was ready to just pitch the whole project, but Mickey said he really liked it, so I decided to finish them up.  The pattern is called "Gluttony" and it's from the book Sock Club.  I really enjoyed the pattern, even if the yarn didn't thrill me, and I'm sure I'll knit it again.

Lastly, here are another pair of rainbow socks for Jack.  This pair is knit with Knit Picks Felici in the "Rainbow" colorway. (how appropriate!)  The pattern is called Fundamental Top Down Socks by Figheadh Yarnworks.  This was another fun pattern, although I did have to pay attention. 

So much for socks (for now) and for procrastinating.  I guess I better get back to the blanket.  I do like knitting it, I do like knitting it, I do like knitting it. . .

Thursday, December 1, 2011

What blog?

I know I've been absent for quite awhile now.  Thank you for all the inquiries and the concern that several of you have extended.  November has not been an easy month. My sister-in-law, Marge, was killed in an automobile accident in Pennsylvania the week before Thanksgiving.  When someone knocked at my door at 10:30 at night, I didn't expect to see the police standing there with such terrible news.  She lived alone and her only relatives are my husband and his brother.  Needless to say, we had to spend the next day packing and planning for a 6 hour trip.  In just the matter of a few days, we had to talk to the coroner, the State Police, the towing company, the fire and rescue squad, the funeral home, the priest, the executor and the neighbors.  In between, we had to plan a funeral, hold calling hours and go through her entire house.  Usually, there's a slight bit of luxury of time to deal with the aftermath of a death, however, since we live so far away, everything had to be wrapped up in this one visit. My husband's brother was unable to make the trip, so all of the decisions fell on our shoulders. Fortunately, Marge was a very well organized person and left nine pages of instructions with the copy of her will!  We pretty much knew just want she wanted as she had even preplanned her funeral right down to the music.  The best thing she did, however, was to write her own obituary!  She was a very accomplished and educated woman.  There's no way that we would have been able to have known all her dates, accomplishments, awards, etc.  (I think there is a very good lesson there, even if you feel well, you should write your own obituary just for the sake of others!! ) We may never know what she was doing driving at night or what caused the accident on that dark country road, but we're grateful for all the kind and caring people that made this ordeal bearable.

On a lighter note, when I was going through her office, I discovered a bag of Cascade 220 Superwash yarn!  I knew that she used to knit and apparently, she must have decided to pick it up again.  I have no idea what project she was planning, but I think I'll make some mittens or hats for the grandsons out of it, as a final gift from their great-aunt.  She also had some really old knitting books and in one, there was a pattern for an adorable baby sweater.  My husband told me I should knit that for our new granddaughter!

So, in short, that's why I've been away, but I have been knitting.  I have lots of projects to show you, but let's start with my most recent first.  I've actually begun a blanket.  I've been planning it in my mind for months, but since time is starting to run short, I decided it was time to get my act together.  I'm using Plymouth Encore, an acrylic and wool blend.

It's a very pretty fern green. WEBS had a sale on it last April (I told you I've been planning this for awhile!) and I picked up an entire bag of it.  I wasn't sure how much I would need and I didn't want to run out!  I've used this yarn before and it's very easy care which is just what my daughter-in-law needs!

I decided to keep it on the small side.  I'm using twelve designs.  The outside borders are 13 stitches wide, each design is 27 stitches and the inside borders are 9 stitches.  That made a cast on of 125 stitches.  Here's a picture of what it looks like after 3 days of on and off again knitting:

You might recognize the horse and the puppy patterns.  See how carefully I avoided showing you the square on the left?  That's a new pattern that I haven't posted yet!  Actually, I think there are four brand new designs that I'll be using.  This blanket does have a theme so I needed to come up with a couple more animals to have it work out!  I'm not a fan of large projects, so I hope that by posting it, I'll have the incentive to stick with it.  If I start slacking off, you can hold my feet to the fire!