Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mara Shawl

Super easy Mara Shawl I worked on when I was in Ireland. Brainless pattern I could work on in a social setting without messing it up.  Gave it to my sister in law Charla. That’s her at work wearing it :). Found a darling shawl pin on Etsy to go with it.  Working on a purple shawl for my other sister in law Shana.  I started it years ago, put it down and now can’t remember what the heck the pattern is.  Anyway the yarn is a beautiful heathered purple and I’ve found some other patterns I really want to make so I may rip it out and start fresh.  Here’s Mara in a Rowan DK yarn.  

Baldric Sweater

Finished blocking and weaving in the ends of my Baldric sweater yesterday.  The pattern is by Isabelle Kraemer. I used an Irish yarn by Blackwater Abbey in the color bracken.  The yarn is not soft but friends that have used it said that it will soften up after a few washings.  Until then I can just wear turtlenecks with it.  The yarn blocked to size perfectly.  I made the Medium 1 size. It’s super warm so finishing it comes in handy with the temps routinely dipping below zero the past week.  I made some modifications to the pattern.  I added a collar and used the garter stitch stripe design in the sleeves to the collar. I added a garter stitch stripe to the bottom hemline and to the bottom of the sleeves.  I’d like to try making this one again in a softer yarn.  I’m starting up the mystery KAL with the Stitching Sisters tomorrow.  Have my yarn picked out. Almost done with a Dolman jacket in Navy blue and finishing up the Jamie shawl (by the Stitching Sisters Jamie).  

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Merry Belated Christmas

Merry Belated Christmas!  Hope everyone had a nice holiday!  We enjoyed a nice quite uneventful Christmas sight seeing lighthouses on Cape Cod.  Got a bit of knitting done at night.  Will be sharing the Baldric sweater with you all soon. Happy New Year Everyone!  Hope 2018 is a happy, healthy, active and creative one for you all!

We had a nice quiet Christmas. Got to sight see and visit 3 light houses and spent some time roaming the beach.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Amelia’s Stocking

 Finished this just in the nick of time.  This is a modified old Thimbleberries stocking pattern. Modified meaning I screwed up the pattern and had to resort to Plan B.  It all worked out.

A friend did the machine embroidery on the cuff for me.  Made for a friend’s 18 month old daughter.  This is her first healthy Christmas. Just got back from dropping it off to her house :).

Everybody have a wonderful Christmas.  Safe travels if you are on the roads.  Hope your Christmas projects all get finished in time.

Hope Santa brings you the yarn, fabric and crafty supplies you need to make it through 2017 :).

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas at Winterberry Cabin XS

Forgot how much I loved doing counted cross stitch.  It’s been a while since I picked it up.  Have a Christmas project prepped and ready to go.  I’m using an antique ivory Belfast 32 count linen to make this “ Christmas at Winterberry Cabin” design by Brenda Gervais.  I need an easy do-able project.  My Christmas Garden is winding down. :) Thinking I should rename it “Perennial Christmas Garden” for as long as it’s taking me to finish it :) 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Christmas Leftie Scarf

Finished another one of the “Leftie” Scarfs by Martina Behm.  I used leftover Cascade self striping/fake Fair Isle sock yarn.  The color is #26 Holiday and I think it’s been discontinued.   I made socks for a friend with small feet so I had a bunch left over.  The off white yarn is from my stash. I lost the label so I have no idea what it is.  When I added the Cascade to do the leaf pattern I cut away the long sections of white.
   Blocked in front of the gas fireplace this morning so it dried fast.


We had our first snow.  Only about 5”.  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

“Daelyn” Pullover Finished

Finished the “Daelyn” pullover by Isabell Kraemer.  It fits great.  The pattern comes with a standard collar and directions for a cowl neck. I opted for the cowl neck.  The yarn is Cascade 220 in a heathered mint green.  If I made it again, the only thing I’d do differently is I’d make it shorter.  Really happy with how the cowl neck turned out. That took major blocking and pinning.

Coziest Memories Afghan

Making progress on the sock yarn afghan.  The pattern is Coziest Memories and it’s a freebie on Ravelry.  5 grams of sock yarn/fingering weight yarn will make one square.  Long term project that I’m totally enjoying. Every now and then I’ll see a mini skein on Etsy to add to it.  Hoping this time next year, it will be done.

Another Leftie and Skipping Christmas

Another “Leftie” Shawl by Martina Behm. This is my ‘go to’ pattern.  It used to be her Hitchhiker pattern but I like using two colors instead of one.  So many of my friends say they like mine when I’m wearing it. It’s easy to wear too.  You don’t have to fuss with it to get it to look nice on you. This is the 4th or 5th version I’ve made of it. This is a thank you present for a friend.  I have another one  cast on tUIKeyInputDownArrowhe needles now. We’re skipping Christmas this year.  By that I mean I’m only shopping for only the younger kids in the family.  We don’t want any presents. We need or want for nothing at this stage of our lives.  In fact we have too much stuff and I can’t give it away fast enough :). None of my family or friends live nearby and normally I’ll spend at least $150 shipping gifts. It’s just nuts!  My besties and the family are totally cool with it.  October was a complete blur since I was pretty much sick or half deaf the entire month so I figured this year I deserve a break. I’ve gotten little to no Christmas knitting or quilting done this year and rather than make the insane attempt to catch up, I’m taking a Christmas Vacation :).  Not going to set up the usual 4 Christmas trees.  Especially not setting up the Bruins tree (not the way they’ve been playing and please Santa can we make Anton the starting goalie all the time?). I’m skipping the cards too. Not baking cookies and goodies to feel guilty about eating :). If you’ve been following my blog over the years, you know I usually go crazy with anything Christmas. I unfortunately don’t have a staff of underlings like Martha Stewart or a maid. Wouldn’t either of those options be fantastic :). Just deep cleaning this house nevermind decorating takes a couple of days and several Alleves.  My main mission in life right now is to downsize the amount of stuff we have so our next house can be much smaller. The plan is to spend less time in that smaller house and more time traveling. We’re starting now :).  We’re going to spend Christmas in a seaside cottage.  It’s adorable.  I’m even thinking of ordering one of those premade heat and serve ham dinners with all the fixings.  The world will not spin off its axis if we skip Christmas for one year :). 

Isabell Kraemer Daelyn Sweater (My version)

I’m almost done with my Isabell Kraemer “Daelyn” pullover. I followed the cowl neck directions.  I was hoping to see a cowl neck version on Ravelry when other ladies made it but last time I checked nobody had done the cowl neck.  The directions were super well written!  Sweater #3 for the year.  Last year my New Year’s Resolution was to stop letting sweater patterns kick my butt and to actually make one that I’d wear out of the house without looking like a bag lady.  There’s a very thin line between looking “artsy” and looking like a “bad lady”.  I’ve crossed that line a time or two :) 

I started this toward the end of September. Last night I got all the ends woven in and this morning I started blocking it.  Of course the fur ball thinks I fired up the gas fire place just for her.  Hoping this has dried and is wearable tomorrow :)   Yarn is Cascade 220 in a heather color #9452.  I worked on this on the plane when I flew to Ireland.  Pictures hopefully tomorrow when it’s totally done. 

Next up on the needles for sweaters is Isabell’s “Baldric” pattern in a Blackwater Abbey yarn.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Black and White Photo Challenge

Current project...long term group KAL some of the fun ladies on the Irish knitting tour are doing in our Facebook group now that we are home.  This one will keep me busy for a while.  There is an elaborately cabled border that goes around this piece when it’s done. The pattern is Inis Oirr (which is the Aran Island) we stayed at for a couple of days.  A friend challenged me to do the black and white photo challenge on FB and I used the middle photo :).

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thimbleberries BOM Quilt

This is an old Thimbleberries block of the month pattern for a queen size quilt.  I made this for my sister in law Charla for her birthday.  I can post a picture early because she was just up here visiting and took it home with her. :). All the fabrics are Thimbleberries too.  I used to help a friend make quilts for magazines using RJR Fabrics and I would get paid in fabric so I have a lot of Thimbleberries fabrics.  Hind sight being 20/20, money would have been easier to move with all of our moves :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Back from New York Sheep And Wool

I went to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival Saturday.  I haven’t been there in seven years.  They should really rename that festival for what it is “The Holy Crap Yarn Festival”.  I don’t know how many times I stood in the middle of a yarny mob unable to move and thought “holy crap!”.  If you’ve never been and are thinking of going just brace yourself.  It’s to the point where I don’t think the event is do-able in one day. Maybe they should turn it into something like the Shetland Wool Week.  We went on Saturday. Rumor has it that the crowds are smaller on Sunday. I went with one of my besties. We’ve been friends since the 3rd grade and she finally caught the knitting bug from me. I taught her how to knit when we were doing an Outlander marathon last winter.  Easiest person I’ve ever taught to knit.  She picked it up so easily.  She’d never been to a yarn festival.  Talk about jumping into the deep end of the pool!!  She probably went home and threw out her ball of yarn and needles thinking these women are nuts :). We had been warned by friends who had gone to the festival in recent years that it’s crazy crowded and to pack some snacks in your purse because they had spent over an hour standing on line last year trying to get something to eat. That’s an hour they wished they could have been shopping and looking at yarns.  Thank goodness we followed their advice.  I saw a line at a food vendor that was selling lamb (No not the lamb!!!) and I estimated it at maybe 1/8th of a mile long.  We had to hit the ladies room when we got there.  A lady working the First Aid booth gave us directions on how to get there and warned us the lines would be very long.  They weren’t too bad.  There was actually a woman working in the bathroom telling people where the empty stalls were to keep the line moving.  She was holding an egg timer (no just kidding).  They even had numbers taped to the stall doors :). At the same time they are having the Holy Crap Yarn Festival, there is also a huge wine, cheese and gourmet food event going on at the same place.  I bought pumpkin pie and cookie dough fudge for the husband :). While in there I heard someone screaming my name and off in the distance I see two New England friends.  One of the girls from the Ireland tour texted me to meet her by the french fries.  I was thinking seriously find french fries in this nut house but after 10 minutes of roaming around I found a french fry cart which turned out to the the right french fry cart and found her.  We met up with another girl who was on the Ireland tour in the middle of a natural yarn dyeing workshop in an outlying tent.  We were there for 4 1/2 hours. It’s a complete blur.  Some of the blur might be because I was taking cold and cough medicine with codiene and I’m on antibiotics.  Having chest pains today so I may have bronchitis or walking pneumonia (I tend to get that) but I digress...Anyway most booths we didn’t even try to go into.  There was a bad car accident in the parking lot/field.  Not sure if it was car vs. car or car vs. a person but we did all we could to get out avoiding the first responders.   One of the girls told us about a “find your car” app which she discovered only after losing her car and having to roam the parking fields with a case of wine :). Crazy librarians :).  She had snacks in her purse I’m sure :). I’d like take credit for being very restrained in my purchases but it was only because with all the people shopping was not easy.  I’m not going to say I’d never go again but if I ever did go again, it would have to be for the two full days.  We will come with more snacks, have the “find your car” app and maybe wear Depends just in case that bathroom lady isn’t working :)

Anyway this is what I ended up buying, Donegal yarn for a poncho, some buttons and a book of boot cuff patterns for potential Christmas presents.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Aran Headband

This was a class project in one of the knitting classes on the tour. The teacher Una lives on the Aran Island Inis Oirr and this is a cable pattern favorite of her mother’s.  Yarn is Donegal Studio Aran Weight in cream.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Aran Hat

I started this hat during a class in Ireland. The yarn is Studio Donegal Aran weight. The pattern is by Carol Fellor called “Bundoran.”  Gets mailed out on Monday :). 

Back From Ireland

Back from 11 wonderful days in Ireland.  Had an incredible time on a knitter’s tour of Ireland.  I took several classes from well known Irish knitters and am now ready to cast on an Aran sweater.  The group went to a yarn spinning workshop, yarn dyeing workshop using natural dyes, watched a basket weaving demonstration, hit two woolen mills including a factory tour of how yarn is made from sheep to store shelves, took a scone and brown bread baking class, went to the Museum of Decorative Arts, a wonderful concert by Trad on the Prom, hit the usual tourist spots like Blarney Castle, Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, and Kylemore Abbey.  I even did some “pub knitting.”  The group went to a sheep farm and watched sheepherding dogs at work, ate more than a couple scones with tea, went to Hedgehog Fibers, spent 2 nights on the Aran Island Inis Oirr and hit Galway, Killarney and Dublin of course.  Galway was too much fun and I did a 3 mile walk along the Bay from the tourist shopping area near Quay Street back to the water front hotel.  I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out.  It was just jam packed with fun things to do.  I met some really nice knitters and future meet ups and knit alongs are planned.  Northern Ireland knitting tour on the horizon :).  The one thing I took away from the trip is TRAVEL WHEN YOU ARE ABLE and have your mobility. The alternative is not pretty and not as much fun.  If you can’t or don’t like to walk, go up a flight of stairs or can’t move a short distance from point A to point B without breaking into a full blown sweat, you should probably just stay home.  We had a high maintenance princess and a gloomy Gus on the tour but they were easy enough to avoid. I mean really how much effort does it take to be miserable on a vacation????   I just don’t get it.  The food was wonderful. I don’t know why people crack jokes about how horrible Irish food is.  It was beyond good!  On the Aran Islands, we all had a fish pie that was so good the cook gave us the recipe :). Fish pie on the horizon too :).   Miss Ireland already and can’t wait to go back :).