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Friday, January 6, 2017

Let's get back to the knitting at hand.

Nan is knitting Mom's Cabled Mitts and wanted help with the instructions for the thumb gusset, specifically Make One's. Yarn: Falkland Aran (Aran: 100% Falkland Merino, 197 yards).

Eleanor finished Jason's Cabled Hat for her husband in Falkland Aran. Now she's going to knit another one for her son in navy.  I love the stitch definition in the cables.

Cindy is nearly finished knitting the Baby Hat with Top Knot in Plymouth Worsted Merino Superwash (Worsted: 100% Merino Wool, 218 yards).

Eileen finished her Fallen Halo cowl in Artyarns Cashmere 5 (Aran: 100% Cashmere, 102 yards).

She got a special request for a hot pink sweater for her granddaughter and Westport Yarns had just the right yarn/color.

Connecticut River Artisans
Check out this terrific ornament Cornelia's daughter gave her.  Instead of having it out for only three weeks every year, she's going to find a place to have it out year round. It's charming.

The Azel Poncho she knit for her granddaughter was a great success. Yarn: Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards). Cornelia said that "her daughter, Sarah (her aunt) got her the same poncho in a different wool while she was in London last November. This pattern must be world famous!" How cool is that!

Now that the holidays are behind us, she is continuing with her Vivacious Hi-Lo sweater
knit with Cascade 220 Superwash (Worsted: 100% Superwash Wool, 220 yards).

Jane has finished knitting 12 squares for the Building Blocks Afghan she is knitting for her husband's (March) birthday. She's going to knit three more squares to make it longer. Yarn: Jade Sapphire 8 ply Cashmere (Aran: 100% Cashmere, 100 yards).

Calann picked up for the button band on Garter Yoke Baby Cardigan knit with Baby Cashmerino (Sport: 55% Wool, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere, 137 yards).

Next she went onto her Flat Foot Floogie.  She finished knitting the head, redid a foot and then it's ready to be finished! Yarn: Cascade 128 (Bulky: 100% Superwash Wool, 128 yards).

Allison finished knitting the Lucy cowl for her niece. Yarn: Mini Skein Fun Size Bundles DK.

She also finished knitting her Guernsey Wrap in Anzula For Better or Worsted (Worsted: 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 200 yards).  She doesn't like the way the garter edge is sticking up, so she's going to have it blocked. It is truly magnificient.


She started knitting the Ring of Kerry infinity scarf in Anzula For Better or Worsted,

 Doggie selfie.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Hand Knit Holiday

Bitemoji courtesy of Thing #2.

I feel it is my "knitterly duty" (to offer) to knit my family gifts for the holidays.  I would not be heartbroken if they said now.  This year everyone said yes.

My oldest let me know early enough in the year that she completely forgot about it and kept sending me other things to knit. Those were interesting conversations. Every time she sent me a picture I would gently remind her that I was knitting her a sweater already.  She would ask for a picture to remember and say, "Oh, yeah - I like that one".  Good answer wouldn't you say? Yarn: Berroco Cirrus (Bulky: 42% Mohair, 40% Nylon, 18% Wool - Merino, 114 yards).

Her boyfriend got a striped hat, a new version of my Flap Happy Hat that I am testing out.

Yarn: Cascade 128 Superwash (Bulky: 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 128 yards).

Joe got socks.  The socks I knit him in Berroco Comfort fit him like gym socks and he's a happy camper (Worsted: 50% Nylon, 50% Acrylic, 210 yards).

Thing #1 got a Tucker Hat  knit with Cascade Spuntaneous (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 109 yards).

Then as a surprise a Mermaid Blanket in progress, knit with Caron Simply Soft Paints (Aran: 100% Acrylic, 200 yards). Yes, that's right, I wrapped it up (still on the needles). I couldn't finish it because she lives at home and every time she came into the room I had to hide it from her.  Once I measured her while she was sleeping for the length!

Thing #2 asked me for a bulky shrug about a week before the holidays. She prefaced the request with, "Is it too late to ask for something knit?". How could I say no?  At any rate, she knew it wouldn't be ready for the Holidays. The yarn is Cascade 128 Superwash.

As for me, my family and friends know me well.  My gifts encompassed a few of my favorite things: knitting bags/accessories, wine, the color purple, and dogs (and not necessarily in that order).

A few more of my favorites things.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A Random Act of Kindness

The Granola Bar of Westport
Early one morning, I was walking across the parking lot to my favorite coffee shop. I greeted a man leaving the coffee shop (he had a cup of coffee in each hand and an envelope).

He headed towards me and held out the hand with the envelope and asked if I could help him out. I answered, "of course".

He asked me to take the envelope.  I did and he walked away.  Puzzled, I asked what he wanted me to do with the envelope. He answered that I should keep it.

I opened the envelope to find it was a gift card to the coffee shop.  I shouted out to him, "Thank you! What's this for?"

He answered, "you smiled and said hello ~ that made my day".

I was gobsmacked. What a wonderful experience. A purely random act of kindness. I later learned that someone had given him the card. As he is a regular at The Granola Bar, he decided to pass the gift along. The gift card originated from the Daly Method.

Whatever its origin, I was delighted by the experience and plan to "pay it forward".  Like the line from Candid Camera, "Smile ... somewhere, someplace when you least expect it, someone steps up to you and says ...."

I think we get complacent and normal civilities like saying hello get lost in the speed with which we go through our day. This was a reminder to remember the small stuff.  You never know what a small, random act of kindness might mean to the other guy. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

It's all in the details.

Jane has completed nine of the 12 square patterns in the Building Blocks Afghan knit with Jade Sapphire 8 ply Cashmere (Aran: 100% Cashmere, 100 yards).

She couldn't get 10th square right (top left of collage picture), so we ripped it back to where it was last correct.

At some point she made an illegal u-turn; she must have knit back in the wrong direction.  See the long loop. No ticket, ripping back the square was penance enough.

Cindy treated us to delicious homemade cookies, complete with bags to take home (if there were any left).

She is ready to begin the the elephant section of her Elephants on Parade Blanket. Yarn: Rowan Softknit Cotton (Worsted: 92% Cotton, 8% Nylon, 115 yards).

Trammi started her  Manteau Capelet over because her count was off.  We both love the pop of gold amidst the neutral tones. Yarn: Ensemble Light and Beaded Silk and Sequins Light.

Calann finished knitting the body of #396 Bergere Poncho, cuffs are knit separately and grafted or sewn on. Isn't it magnificent?  We all want her to keep it for herself rather than gift it.

She has moved onto finishing her Flat Foot Floogie. She realized that she knit one leg on a smaller needle. It is hardly noticeable. The village voted on whether to take it out. It was unanimous. Just keep knitting - it is not noticeable and certainly the baby won't notice. Yarn: Cascade 128 (Bulky: 100% Superwash wool, 128 yards).

Mallory made enormous progress on her latest stocking. The blue angora yarn we chose last week worked out perfectly for the bear's sweater.  She's going to make a tiny pompom for the bear's Santa hat.

Check out this picture of all the Christmas Stockings she has knit to date!  What incredible family heirlooms.  By the way, the Angel has a diamond necklace. It's all in the details.

Eleanor wanted to confirm that the sleeve depth of looked right on her Emerald Isle Child's Pullovers. Grandmothers in attendance felt confident that it was right.  Yarn: Plymouth Select Superwash Merino (DK: 100% Superwash Merino, 130 yards).

Her customfit sweater is up to armhole shaping.  We discussed whether to work the decreases at the beginning of the row or 1-2 stitches in.  Personally, I prefer to work them as follows: K2, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2. It's tidy and easier to seam if the decreases aren't on the edge of the garment. Yarn: Moonshine (Worsted: 40% Alpaca, 40% Wool, 20% Silk, 197 yards).

Cornelia has named her Vivacious Hi-Lo Pullover her "pepto bismol" sweater. Each project has it's own nickname based on the color of the yarn. It appears she's headed for a medicine cabinet them 😉. Yarn: Cascade 220 (Worsted: 100% Superwash Wool, 200 yards).

Allison is enjoying knitting her Lucy Cowl from Mini Skein Fun Size Bundles DK. 

I see a pile of cushions, Harry sees a perfect chin rest. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Busy, busy elves


Eileen finished knitting the Ladies Mermaid Tail Lapghan Cocoon Blanket. It is a an awful lot of knitting!

The finishing entailed (spontaneous pun) sewing attaching the tail to the rest of the blanket.

Eleanor didn't like how the sleeve was coming out in her Emerald Isle Child's Pullover. Last week we had decided to make the armhole deeper.  It was coming out too wide.  We measured the gauge of the moss stitch and cable and came up with a new number to pick up.  Keep your fingers crossed.  Yarn: Plymouth Select Superwash (DK: 100% Merino, 130 yards).

 Since she replaced the twin ribbed sections with a center rib section, her customfit sweater has been progressing nicely. Yarn: Moonshine (Worsted: 40% Alpaca, 40% Wool, 20% Silk, 197 yards).

Allison has knit three, count them, three, Burberry Inspired Cowls in Tahki Zona (Aran: 35% Cotton, 28% Wool, 26% Acrylic, 11% Nylon, 119 yards). They are gifts.  I'm inspired to knit another one. She started the Lucy Cowl with a provisional cast on.

Calann's Flat Foot Floogie is beginning to take shape. Yarn: Cascade 128 (Bulky, 100% Superwash wool, 128 yards).

She's knitting along on her Garter Yoke Baby Cardi in Baby Cashmerino (Sport: 55% Wool, 33% Microfiber, 12% Cashmere, 137 yards).

Calann questioned whether she should make the Waffles Blanket longer, she's knit through two skeins of Plymouth Select Superwash Merino (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards).  It definitely needed the length and it will block out wider. 

Cornelia has started the back of her Vivacious Hi-Lo pullover in Cascade 220 (Worsted: 100% Superwash Wool, 200 yards).

 Mallory came today, she is our seasonal knitter. She has been knitting stockings for her family, as they keep having children, more stockings go into the queue. What a lovely project. She uses the Ann Norling Christmas Stocking patterns.

We were talking about recipes today. I saw a great recipe for a Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken.

Eileen told us her easy, do ahead chicken recipe. She buys chicken in bulk, prepares this in a ziploc bag, and freezes them for futures. This way the chicken has been marinating.

Place fresh rosemary under chicken skin.
Olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Red onion cut up 
Salt & pepper
Mush together in plastic bag
Defrost on counter
Roast 400*

I'm not a rosemary person, so I think I would do garlic. Sounds yummy.  If it wasn't snowing, I'd go food shopping.  Nah, who am I kidding.  I'd ask Thing #1 to food shop (and cook). 😊😊