Jan 29, 2014

Zipped Up!

Hey there!

A little over a week ago I finally finished a baby gift that I started in 2012. Fortunately I know myself pretty well and I chose to make a size 2-3 so it out to fit my cousin's now 2 year old son just fine. I really hope so because I love this sweater. It's a Sirdar pattern that I've loved since the first time I saw it.

There are so many things I adore about it. There are big, basic things like the softness and color of the yarn. It's KP Swish in Delft Heather.  There is something about a heathered yarn that is so soft and inviting and this one is no exception.  It's got a lovely depth to it.

But there are little details about this sweater that thrill the knitter in me beyond reason. One of the last bits of finishing was the ribbed edging that was knit on after I assembled the sweater. I had to pick up over 250 stitches to do it and it came out well but I had no idea how well until I was binding it off. That's when I noticed how perfectly the ribbing matched up with the center cable that continues from the back hem right up and over the head.

And then there's the zipper. I'd never installed a zipper in any of my knits before and I do not sew at all.  I really avoid it as much as possible. But I really felt like this sweater demanded a zipper so I read countless online tutorials and then I sat down with pins and thread and meticulously sewed in the zipper.  I love it! It was so much easier than I thought it would be. I'm so proud that it lays flat and doesn't pucker.

Last but not least there is the grosgrain ribbon that I found to make the inside of the zipper pretty. I scoured the internet and a few stores looking for just the right one but I think it was worth it. What little kid doesn't love airplanes?

Jan 28, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Things You Like About Winter

It is cold here today.  Really, really cold. We haven't had this many days in the teens and below in ages - if ever. But here's a little secret.  I kind of like the extreme cold.  In small doses it's refreshing and exhilarating. I can say this because I don't have to be out there in it much at all. It's only a few steps from my front door to my car and not much more to wherever I need to go. If I had to be outside waiting for a bus or walking long distances it'd be a different story.

But I'm not sure that I'd say the extreme cold would be one of my favorite things about the winter. I do like some things about the winter and here's a list.

  1. Seeing handknits in use - My girls love to bundle themselves up in handknits.  I love seeing them wearing the hats, gloves, scarves, and cowls that I've made for them.
  2. Inspiration for more hamdknits - cold weather makes me want to create more wonderful wooliness to keep my girls warm.
  3. Snow - I know many people who hate snow but I love it. I love watching it fall. I love walking in it. I love just about everything about it.
  4. Hot Chocolate - I don't do it often but there is nothing quite like a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter day.
  5. Snow Days - just not too many of them. Too much unscheduled time gets a little crazy.
  6. Rosy cheeks - I just love seeing my girls with rosy cheeks. The glow of good health and all that.
  7. The winter light - I can't really explain it but there is something about the light.  It's crisp and unfiltered.
  8. Cooking hearty meals - chili, and all the hearty, meaty stuff that makes us feel nostalgic. It feels so good and it makes the house smell great too.
  9. Blankets - I love curling up on the couch with one of my girls under piles of blankets to watch a show or read a book.
  10. Reading - It's the perfect activity for a cold winter day.   

Jan 24, 2014

Jan 23, 2014

A Hat!

I have a backlog of finished objects that I need to post. Currently the list is about 5-6 but it's growing. This is what happens when you return to knitting and attack all those UFO's that have been cast aside well past the halfway mark. It's good for blogging.

But this isn't one of those long neglected projects.  This is a little hat that I whipped off for Miss M in about a day. The yarn is probably an aran but it wasn't marked and I think that I used a size 3 or 4 needle which made for a nice dense fabric. It'll keep the wind out well. It also makes it hold it's shape really well. I love the way it stands up.

And here is the hat in action yesterday. 

Jan 22, 2014

Jan 16, 2014

Knitting it All at Once

Part of getting back to blogging is getting back to the subject of the blog - actual knitting content. I have a long list of works in progress and stuff I promised to make and I'm making great progress on all of it so far. Now, it's rather difficult to knit and blog at the same time so there's work to be done on balancing it all but knitting and finishing stuff is a start.

One of the things that I have nearly finished is this little sweater. It's seamed and blocked and now I've got to install that zipper. It's going to be a first for me but I've loved the idea of a zipper for this sweater so I really hope that it comes out ok.  More on this when it's done.

Being so close to finishing the sweater allowed me to cast on for a pair of fingerless gloves that Stinkette has wanted for ages. It's stranded knitting which really isn't my favorite. I never seem to get the floats right. But my girl is so excited to see these growing on my needles that I can't help but push forward. I've completed 2 more repeats since I took this picture.

And then there's this.  It's the Through The Loops Mystery Sock for 2014 that I started yesterday. I really love the picot edge and the colors of the yarn as well but that's where it ends.  The gorgeous green yarn that I got for the main color is a single ply and I don't know if it'll stand up to use as socks. I should've noticed this when I bought it but I was blinded by the pretty.  I've always been a sucker for a nice green.

The other problem is the needles. I felt the need to make a switch from my usual KP Options so I got Karbonz for this project and the joins are just awful. I don't know if it's just the set I have or the needle size. Something is not good at all.

Changes are coming for this project but I'm not she what they are yet.

Jan 7, 2014

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Favorite Moments From 2013

I've got to be honest, 2013 wasn't a very good year for me. There were life changes that left me feeling a little lost and worried. But, even in a year with dramatic lows there are amazing highs that put it all in perspective. It was a year that so much went so right and my girls had much to be happy about. Here are a few high notes from 2013.

  1. I got to spend one last amazing day with my grandfather.  Of course I didn't know it was the last one at the time, but it was amazing.
  2. DQ finally earned her Gold award which is the highest award in Girl Scouts. It was a long and arduous undertaking but the end result was worth it. 
  3. Our trip to Amish Country to spend time with my sister and brother and their families.  It was such fun and the countryside up there is beautiful. We got a gorgeous quilt. The only regret is that DQ couldn't come but that's just something that I've got to get used to.
  4. Stinkette's softball team changed affiliation and she finally got to wear a Firebird uniform.  Not only that, the team started winning more often.  Let's hope that it's the start of something wonderful.
  5. The fall trip that DQ and I took through New England to visit colleges.  The school tours were informative and, as an added bonus, we got to see Carole and Dale.  Yay!  We finished the trip in Rhinebeck with my sister. We had such a good time.
  6. The Halloween party my girls had. We had never held one before but I had the time so... why not. I had so much fun making all of the treats for it like the Day of the Dead cookies below.
  7. Then there was the cast party that we hosted after the run of Little Shop of Horrors ended. At it's peak there were about 70-80 drama kids in the house. The best moment was when they all crammed into my living room to sing "I'll Make a Man Out of You" while watching Mulan.  I was so happy to be able to help the kids celebrate a great show.
  8. Thanksgiving in NY.  It was so nice to see family and friends. 
  9. DQ's friends threw her a surprise party at our house to celebrate her 18th birthday.  She never saw it coming.  It was so good to see how much her friends love her.
  10. Our first trip as a family of 5 - St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The vacation that almost didn't happen was everything that I could've hoped for and more.  It was magical. 

Jan 3, 2014

ECF - St Thomas Edition

It's Eye Candy Friday and normally I'd just post a picture or two and call it good but this one demands a wee bit of comment because it's full of pictures from our recent family vacation to St Thomas. We hadn't gone on a real family vacation in quite a while and this was the very first one as a family of 5. It was glorious!

Mostly, this vacation was about family time so there was a lot of hanging out on the beach.

But we did get a little adventurous. Bruce and Stinkette went parasailing.

DQ and I went scuba diving

Even Miss M got to go on a paddle boat.

And we all enjoyed many gorgeous sunsets... with a little island rum.

It was fabulous but it was over way too soon.  Time to start planning the next one.

Jan 1, 2014

New Year - New Start

The last time I posted here was July 2, 2013 and life was very different. My blog abandonment wasn't intentional. Like so many things, it just sort of happened.  I took pictures on July 4th, during my college trip with DQ, during softball, and so many other times. I mentally composed posts and some of them were damn good. But I never posted a thing.

But things change and change again. Yesterday I returned from one of the best vacations that I've had in years.  It was relaxing, and fun, and filled me with a sense of renewal and inspiration. Right before we left I read several good books and I even finished a few knitting projects.  So now, exactly 7 years after I first started this blog, I'm returning to it. I don't even know if there's anyone left out there to read it. If there are then welcome back.

Consider this blog open for business.