It is time for a long weekend as we say goodbye to summer. We have been busy here at home and our porch is almost done! We wanted to save the original posts and spent alot of time stripping the paint and we are planning to get them re- painted today. I can't wait to see them when they are done. We started the project in July and will get the posts painted this weekend. Daryl wants the decking to weather a bit, so we will stain the floor next summer. But right now, this is my favorite place to be.. and to knit!
I just finished knitting up a set of hat and mitts for a set of twin girls that are coming in November. The yarn is an oh so soft merino, silk and cashmire blend. A bit of lace and a sweet flower wil be adorable on these gals when they arrive.
I also finished up a lace shawl. This was a project that I thoroughly enjoyed knitting as I didn't follow a pattern and just worked it... I just knit what ever I felt like knitting at the moment. I think it came our rather nicely! And it is larger than most of the other shawls I've make from patterns. The yarn is a deep beautiful cranberry red, which I prefer over a fire engine red. I give myself 4 stars on this one.
And now, with fall coming, I'm getting ready for a couple of big craft fairs. I have some felted pumpkins drying after processing them yesterday. These pumpkins are so much fun to have around to decorate with and to keep your secret stash of chocolate in!
We are keeping busy this weekend and I hope you are too. Enjoy your last days of summer as you prepare for fall. I'll be looking out for the spectacular color show this fall ... coming to a local drive by soon!
Summer is a short season here in upstate New York and each year it seems to slip by with greater speed than the year before. Next weekend is Labor Day, marking the end of long days, hot nights, ice cream cones, BBQs and fireflies.
I spent the day yesterday cleaning up the garden, pulling the plants that stopped producing and not too much is left. I had a rough year with tomatoes this year, with very little product. And only a few cucumbers, but the beans and peas did well. And of course, the zucchini always does well. How is it that I can pick all there is one day and go out the next and there is a 2 foot zucchini that wasn't there the day before? Zucchini must have some mighty powerful growing magic.
All that is left are the sweet peppers, some very scant tomato plants and the pumpkins. The pumpkins. Well, they pretty much took over the garden this year. Well, actually, they took over the yard as well as the garden. A few more weeks and they will be ready!
I will definately miss summer, but I love fall. I love the crisp mornings and the way the sun changes it's angle. There is a different light on things in the fall. The colors explode and the smell of dried leaves fills the air. I love going for a walk and the sound of the leaves crunching with every step. I love the colors, the smells, the sounds and and coolness. Yes, we have signs of color already here.
Of course fall marks the beginning of knitting season (although I do knit all year round). But something about starting a project in the fall is different. My thoughts begin to roam as I knit. I think about pot roast, stews and soups and baking again. Apple pies and apple cider. When my kids were little, it was about getting back to school, getting organized, getting back on schedule. I love autumn.
I got up early this morning, before the rest of the household and watched the sun burn off the fog. As I sipped coffee and thought about the end of summer, I couldn't resist casting on this scarf with some gorgeous minimoochie yarn in bright autumn colors. Every row is amazing as I watch the colors make the scarf come alive. And every stitch makes me look forward to autumn even more!
Here is to hoping that everyone is enjoying fall knitting projects as much as I am. Enjoy!!
Warren is starting 1st grade this fall. It is hard to believe, but he is. He will be going off to full day classes and starting his school career.
It is cold in those hills in Vermont, so I knit him a classic pull over in DK weight yarn. Soft, warm and light enough to wear under his winter jacket.
I found the pattern on Ravelry, and the pattern was an easy knit, with most of it just plain stockinette stitch in the round. I loved working on this project during the olympics, as I could knit and watch TV at the same time.
Even though it was pretty simple, there is some cable work up the sides and on the yolk, so it wasn't boring.
You can find the pattern HERE on Ravelry if you have a little boy that needs a classic sweater.
Here is the sweater knit in navy blue:
Good luck to my little man in first grade this year! Grammy loves you ♥
This summer we decided to have a working vacation.
We started our vacation with a quick trip to Vermont and got to see Warren and take him to the local fair. He had a ball on the rides and Daryl had fun watching the truck pull competition.
We got back home and set right to work on building the side porch. Keep in mind that our house was built in the mid 1800's and nothing is square, plumb or level. So, it has taken a full 6 days to get it where it is now, and probably another couple week ends to get it done.
But even though it is not completed, I spent the early morning sitting on the porch knitting. I absolutely treasure this time of day, when my family is sleeping and there is no electronic noises through out the house. I sipped some good coffee, listened to the the various birds singing good morning and finished the edging on the baby blanket for grandbaby # 3 (coming in December 2012).
We find out if the baby is a boy or girl on 8/6/2012. I plan to crochet either pink or brown along the outer edge once we know. Keep your fingers crossed for a girl!
Even though I worked harder physicially than when I go to my day job, I had one of the best vacations! It was great to spend time with hubs and work on a project together.
I'll post some pics when the porch is completely done, as there still is alot to do, but for now, I totally enjoyed the half that is done!
And don't forget - starting August 1 - August 7, 2012, Take 25% off all orders in my ETSY SHOP to help me celebrate my 5 year anniversary! Just use coupon code: 5YEARSANN on all orders.
Yes, another shawl/wrap! This one is one of my favorites and is sooo incredible to touch and feel. It is handknit with 50/50 silk/wool in very cool blues and tourquoise. The center panel has a fun design and the border has tiny sky blue beads at each scalloped point.
I loved knitting this one. Although it looks a bit complicated, the pattern was very easily memorized so no checking off each row to keep track was needed. This one one of my 'on the go' projects and spent many hours in the car while traveling here and there.
I've been having the time of my life knitting up more shawls lately. I think it has come to be an obsession, but I just can't resist trying new lace stitches and yarns. I've been a cable gal for many years, loving the twists and textures of cables, but my new-found love of lace has distracted me from cable work and I'm starting to feel like I have left my beloved cables on the roadside.
I used a handdyed fingering yarn that shows off the autumn spectrum with falling leaf designs. The added bead work on the leaf stems add sparkle, fun and weight. This shawl is perfect for a quick shoulder cover, worn as a scarf, or can even be worn around the waist (if you are thin enough). I just love the virbrant colors!
This one is heavier than my typical shawls and is intended for warmth as well as beauty. The mohair gives it a soft halo and a feel that you just want to pet. The design is simple lace with a ripple edging at the bottom to highlight the beauty of the handspun yarn.
I always look forward to Mother's Day, not because I am a mother of 4 wonderful grown children, but because it has become tradition that I spend the day with my mother. Just the two of us... we go around to the stores and shop for our annual flowers and garden plants, stop off for lunch if we feel like it and the bring all our wonderful finds back to her house and place the flowers around the house.
It truly is a fun day and one that I will treasure forever. Mom turns 83 this year and she still looks as much like a movie star to me now as she did when she was 16.
I also like Mother's Day because I usually spend the quiet morning hours in my studio with all my yarns and fibers, a cup of coffee and my computer, just leisurley browsing around and planning my next projects or finishing up my current projects, without feeling guilty that I'm not doing laundry or cleaning.
Today, I was able to finish my latest shawl (or wrap, or stole.. which ever you prefer) and I am just thrilled as how this turned out.
It is knit with a 50/50 wool/silk and it is just as light as a feather. The scalloped edges have tiny beads knit in so there is a bit of a weight to keep it from flying away. I love the basil green color and the rolling leafy design. I am calling this one Traveling Vines and it is available in my etsy shop.
I'm also working on cleaning up a new (to me) old spinning wheel. After doing some research, I've learned that this wheel came from Canada and is linked back to the Albion Hills Farm School. From some forum discussions I've learned that Edna Blackburn was a master spinner and taught spinning through out her life. I've actually gotten the address of her grandson and will be corresponding with him this week to find out more! Here are some photos of how the wheel looked when I received it:
Yesterday, I spent some time cleaning it up and browsing around for some new maidens as these must not have been the original. I can't wait to get this in working order.. because, as you know, one wheel is just not enough! I will post some before and after photos after it is restored... more to come...
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there and I hope you have a wonderful day.
This week I dug out some roving that I purchased last year and finally spun it up into delicious yarn. I usually strive to have consistant thickness, but this time I let the roving speak and become what ever it wanted to become. I ended up with 268 yards of fun, bright orange creamsicle, thick and thin yarn. I don't know what type of wool this is, but I am guessing some mohair and some costswold based on the crimp. But who cares? It came out lovely and the color just makes me smile!
I also knit up a couple of baby girl hats in sweet lavender and pink. I think there is something telling me that my son and his girlfriend will have a girl this time.. or perhaps just wishful thinking. We found out this week that a new baby will be joining our family sometime in December or January and I am really looking forward to this new baby! Keep your fingers crossed for a girl.. but boy oh boy.. boys can be fun too!
I am working through my original patterns... Remaking the items so I can retake photos, so I started with my hooded scarf. I absolutely love working this scarf and I think I finally got a half way decent photo this time. Remember... I am in upstate NewYork where the wind and snow can get the better of anyone. This is the perfect hood and scarf for our type of weather.
I think a combination of spring-like weather and going to a fiber festival at Beaver Lake has inspired me to be more productive this week.
Last weekend I went to a small fiber show at Beaver Lake and not only bought some new roving, knitting needles and a beautiful handmade yarn winder, I also won 8 oz of lovely roving with the raffle. I don't usually win anything so I was very surpised and happy!
I came right home and finished plying the mint green handspun that I had started months ago that was left in the corner feeling very neglected. With that yarn drying, I put the beautiful black cherry romney that I purchased on the wheel and just kept on spinning! I love the draft on this stuff and it spun very smoothly. The results, including my neglected mint green wool, totals 615 yards of handspun goodness!
I don't know if it is spring or that I am surrounded by people having babies lately that I was inspired to come up with a new design for felted baby booties. I tried them out initially with my grandson, Gavin, and they passed the test! He loves them and wears them often. And so, I will debuting these cuties in my etsy shop later this week. The first pair is in a nice royal blue and fits 6-9 month babies. I'm calling this pair, Little Boy Blue...
And finally, I knit this sweet baby hat on Friday night. The pattern is in 60 More Quick Baby Knits from Cascade Yarns and is a new technique for me. The bubbles are made by undoing stitches and picking them back up again. I found it to be fun and easy to make and results in a great textured design.
I'm off to spin some lovely tangerine wool and make some more baby booties ~ Until next week, keep your needles clicking ♥
My very first fine lace project was exciting and frustrating all at the same time.
I love bulky knits and many of my projects include using 2 strands of yarn together to bulk them up even more. But I also love, admire and drool over fine lace.
I have just started knitting lace with fingering weight yarn for a little over a year, so I just became comfortable working with fingering weight yarn. So naturally the next step is to work with an even finer yarn. I kept eyeing the cobweb yarn at my local yarn shop, but something in the back of my mind kept telling my I wasn't quite ready for that yet.
After my dear friend April gave me a ball of Yarn Place Gentle in an absolutely gorgous cranberry red, I couldn't stop thinking about what I would knit with this wonderful yarn. I finally decided to try a wrap pattern in Victorian Lace Today, which would also by my very first project with knitting on the edge.
I faced my inner fears and cast on the center panel that seemed to go rather smoothly. Although, I did need to pay very close attention to ensure I grabbed the actual stitch on the needle rather than the loop below. (I later realized that the wooden needles were just too blunt to grab that tiny stitch and I have since moved on to super pointy Addi Turbo Lace needles)
My problems really came in to play when I started knitting the edging. I ended up modifying the edging pattern after several (about 50) false starts. I even heard myself say that I would never do this again during certain trying moments, but I was determined to master the process.
I did complete my project and love, love, love the lighter than air feel of this shawl. There is a couple battle scars along the edge but I do feel quite accomplished that I got it done.
And even though I had stated several times that I wouldn't ever do this again, I have already cast on my next wrap in a lovely green wool/silk. This one is in lace weight yarn, which believe it or not feels like bulky after working with the cobweb weight.
I will definately do another in cobweb as the end result is so stunning.