Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cabled Beret

I have long been a fan of Debbie Bliss, her patterns and her yarn.
So I was happy to find the 1st edition of her magazine at my LYS this fall.
A few patterns were chosen immediately for gifting, with the 1st pattern worked the "Cabled Beret".

When I first began knitting I had old fashioned ideas about cables. It conjured up old pilly, scratchy ski sweaters and the 1960's, I don't know...I didn't like them, I believed I would never knit anything with a cable.

I have since seen the error of my thinking.
I love fat, juicy, squishy cables! They are fun to do and do not give that old fashioned look I dread at all.

I can not share photos of the completed Beret for it will be a Christmas Gift.
The colour of this yarn is really a deep plum colour, and is a alpaca silk merino blend. It is just really scrumptious. I hope the recipient will be as pleased as I am.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Rollers

I have shut down the shoppe for the 1st winter season in 14 years, but have been helping Dan out at the office. Last Friday I decided I needed a day at home, for I have been fighting the 2nd cold of the season.
The day started out great not too cold, but cold enough to feel good about curling up in my chair.

It started to lightly snow as I trudged out to feed the cats. (yes, I now have a mama cat and two baby kittens, more on that later) .

It continued to snow all morning, it snowed all afternoon.

Everytime Dan called I told him how much it was snowing, he continued to pooh-pooh my weather comments. It was not snowing in Berrien.
At 300pm I went out with my trusty yardstick and we had gotten 8" of snow! By nightfall it was 10"!

Saturday morning it started to warm up and then the winds started to howl.
I have lived in this area all my life and I have never seen what happened next.

"Snow Rollers" !

The wind was blowing so hard that the 10" of snow was being rolled up in cylinders.

We had hundreds of these all over the yard.
It was difficult to photograph but it was the most unusual thing I have ever seen.
They only lasted til Sunday morning, when we began to get rain. Crazy...I'm just sayin'

I promise a holiday knitting post tomorrow. I am very behind again this year. I am blaming it on being sick for 3 months.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Class at Red Purl

December 8th, 6p-8pm and December 14th, 1p-3p.
I will be teaching a class on how to take an ordinary Christmas bulb and turn it into an extraordinary "beaded knitted ornament" !

This is a fast project and is perfect for your left over fingering weight yarn.
This class will also teach knitting in the round with 2 circular needles and my favorite technique for beading.
You will have plenty of time to make several before the holidays.
What a great gift idea.
I know several people who will be receiving them.
Come join us at Red Purl on the 8th and 14th.

Monday, December 1, 2008


We had a very quiet and small gathering this year for Thanksgiving. I guess that is what happens when the kids get older and have other priorities.
My oldest sister's family didn't make it again this year. Mallory was with her boyfriends family eating at a Cracker Barrel in Kentucky. (don't get me started). And Drewsey left us after a token hour to spend the day with his girlfriend!!

I was thankful Connor, Em and Gracie were there.
The girls and I entertained ourselves taking photos of their wonderful shoes. We do love our shoes!
Con took advantage and slept most of the day, no Drewsey to play video games and or/guitar with. I don't think he was interested in the shoe photo shoot.

We did have a wonderful dinner and a great time with all that were there, my sister and her husband were gracious hosts.

two pretty brown haired girls.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why I love the Internet and Why I Need a Laptop

Ok, here's the deal.
I knit. I love to knit.

When you are knitting you are first creating something, most of the time for someone else.

My niece Mallory taught me the basics, knit and purl, I must admit I got the knit right off, but I think she had to teach me purl at least 10 times before it stuck.

Then I took a few classes which increased my confidence and taught me how to read "Greek" a.k.a knitting patterns and terms.

Being self employed I don't have a lot of time to run to my local LYS. Though Amy at Red Purl is brilliant with her "working women" hours.

Enter the Internet....if you are stuck on a knitting term and the graphic isn't enough, more than likely you will find a video on YouTube showing you how to do it!

Even better...you can e-mail a designer of a pattern to ask a question.

I did this for the 1st time though I hated to impose.

While working the Aran Isle Slippers I just could not get how to decrease and keep the seed stitch true. I knew it had to be simple, I just could not see it. (it was so, so obvious).

I bit the bullet and emailed Jennifer Lang the designer of these wonderful slippers, and she was so kind to answer me promptly and set me straight on the obvious answer. Thank you Jennifer.

Now I would not do this often, can you only imagine as a designer getting tons of emails asking questions? I can see how this could snowball!
But, I sure appreciated Jennifer's help, she was so kind.

This is why I love the Internet!

And why I need a Laptop with wireless high speed, so in the middle of the night during a knitting marathon I can log on and get the answer if I need it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Aran Isle Slippers

Aran Isle Slippers in the Holiday Interweave Knits Magazine.

I am thinking perfect for Christmas giving.
I am thinking I want a pair for myself.
Second thought....I don't like my feet to be hot.
Gift Giving it will be.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Emileigh's Runway Debut!

Emileigh wearing Deanna Ansara’s Avante Garde garment

My niece Emileigh was in her 1st runway show this past weekend.
She modeled for 5 Designers of the House of Moda.
The Designers are all student designers of Western Michigan University.
The show was far from amateur, these designers put countless hours and effort into not only their designs, but the overall look of the show.

Emileigh received first hand knowledge of what goes into a fashion show, lots of hurry up and wait, and then pure chaos!

Great Job Em!

She had a great time and I know she enjoyed all the designers she worked with.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Turn A Square

a pattern from Brooklyn Tweed and the inspiring Jared Flood.

I have now worked several patterns from Brooklyn Tweed and love the ease and perfection of his patterns, I still feel as if I am a fairly novice knitter and Jared's patterns make sense.

Patterns still throw me sometimes, I want to begin this dress, and looking at the photo

it seems straightforward, reading the pattern though, confusion sets in.

It will still be my next big project.

Back to the Caps, these are wonderful for gift giving for they only take a few hours to stitch, I love the jogless striping, thanks Jared for the hint, and that the 4 raglan decreases make a square pattern.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Double Cap Revisited

Keanee's Double Cap

Worked flat as stated in pattern.
Hated having to seam this as you can tell I just don't do it well.

Keanee was by far the hardest model I ever tried to take a photo of.
This child just does not stop moving.
We all blame his mother for she drank caffeine through out the pregnancy.

Let this be a warning to all expectant mothers!

I miss seeing Keanee though, he is at daycare all day, not like his house cat brother Ian.

Click on photo to enlarge and check out Keanee's eyelashes, why do cute little boys always end up with these?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Ian's Double Cap is done
I am not sure about this pattern, I find that it really needs to be longer from cuff to crown, it looks best when the cuff is not folded.
Do like the Cat/Bat Ears though.

Have whipped out a few more hats in the last few days will share when blocked.
Hint: love Brooklyn Tweed patterns, they just work!!

Oh, have a great Halloween, don't eat too much cheap candy!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

This says it All

I have accomplished nothing on the knitting front, feel like I am a month behind on Christmas gifts.
But you can't do much when one of your knitting hands is constantly reaching for either a tissue or the NyQuil.
This will eventually be a Double Cap for Ian if I ever feel well enough to finish it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Treats for Me

A week or so ago I discovered these on my pillow as I was going to bed.
You may not be able to see it clearly but it says "treats for my mom" up in the right hand corner.
These were obviously a present from my dog "Toulouse".

They are my favorite thing to have with a cup of strong hot coffee.

I first discovered these treats as a child at my grandmother house, she and my grandfather always had bowls of Brach's candy at the ready.

As much as love the artisan truffles at The Chocolate Garden, there is just something about Maple Nut Goodies that remind me of happy childhood times.
And, I made this bag last 5 days.

The last time I had them was in Feburary at Jill's, she knows my weakness for cheap candy and all the horrid stories that go along with them.

Boston Baked Beans anyone?

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Can I just say.....

how fun this was to knit!

Back to cast on more!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On the Needle & Wire

Today I began knitting with wire.
This is something I have wanted to try for quite some time.
My inspiration is Rosemary Hill.

Her designs with wire and yes, with yarn are stunning. So looking forward to receiving her book that I preordered on Amazon today.

So I have strung the beads and now it is just a matter of finding the right tension to actual knit.

How fun!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cali's Recorder Case

Cali is our secretary's daughter and is learning the Recorder this year at school.
After carrying it around in it's basic vinyl case, she asked her mom if she thought I could make her something pretty.
Cali is also known by her good friends as "Princess Cali".
I had her come into the store and we talked about what colors she would want and took some measurements and after a week or so I came up with this.

I think she is pleased! She even played me a couple of songs on the recorder.
I told her to tell all her friends that it is a one of a kind and could not possibly be duplicated.

I told her mother, she will have a rude awakening when she figures out that I am really not all that.

You know my lot in life....that my greatest fans are little girls and old men!!!!!

Any Worsted Weight Yarn
I used Malabrigo and Cascade
Gauge: not important
Finished Size: 4" x 14"
Cast on: 30 sts....or what you need to obtain 4"
Knit in st/st until piece measures 28" ro 29" inches
Fold, seam with mattress stitch both edges
Pick up sts on both sides and knit 2 rows
Bind of with Picot Bind off - bind off 6 sts, *place last sts back on left needle, c/o 1 sts with cable cast on, bind off 5 sts* repeat between *.
Strap: c/o 4 sts work I cord until desired length
Flowers: c/o 3 sts work I-cord until desired length, form into simple daisy shape and sew with beading thread.

The perfect thing for all those Recorder playing Princesses.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Koolhaas - A Hat by Designer Jared Flood

Worked with Cascade 220
size 6 / 8 needles

Pattern looks more difficult than is. After 2 rounds you pretty much have it down.
I did run in to difficultly in the decrease rounds, my fault not the pattern. I finally got it and am fairly pleased.

Thanks Andrew for being the hat model

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Views of the Holiday

We have been vacationing on Mackinaw longer than I like to admit. For some reason we do not tire of it.

I started out this trip planning to take photos of all the things I was NOT going to do.

Such as .....I did not run the Mack Race 08.
I enjoyed it just fine from the porch of our lovely inn with several cups of coffee. Thank you very much.

Though I did ride my bike everyday around the island, up through the island, downtown, uptown, you get the idea.

This is a great new bike path past the Grand Hotel which takes you to Arch Rock. It also gets you out of the way of all the carriage tours, and need I say... horse apples.

I also did not have anything do to with gardening.

But, aren't these impatients spectacular, in the right setting I still never tire of these old standbys.

I quickly got side tracked, and stopped taking photos of things I wasn't doing and took way to many of trim and shutter colours on houses. I have been trying to pick out a new shutter colour and can I just say... nothing is working for me.

And of course all the quirky bikes you see.
Many of hours of knitting were done, the first Christmas gift is in the bag!
It was a very peaceful, stress free holiday.
See, even the guy with the gray beard is smiling.
How in heaven did we get so old?
And why do I always have lipstick on my teeth!!!!
Self portraits with a digital camera aren't they lovely!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Christmas Gift Number One

With Christmas just around the corner and wanting to avoid the knitting rush of last year.
I have begun the 1st of many knitted gift projects.
This is Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed.
I found one error on pattern, the photo shows k2, p2, k2 for brim and I didn't realize until into lattice pattern that the lattice is not vining from ribbing. Now, do I rip and start over or continue. I'm thinking rip.
Will be on holiday for the next 9 days.
Away from phones, business, and computer and the blogs.
I will be waking up to the sounds of horses and the feel of wonderful lake breezes.
And will have bike butt by tomorrow afternoon.
You know that wonderful feeling you get when riding your bike for the first time in several months.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Finished Projects

Ces's Spine Pillow
The child is just so spiney she says it hurts to sit in her school chair.
A Spine Pillow to the rescue.

Worked with Rowan Big Wool, 1 skein each of black and hot pink.
Size 13 needles
Cable Scarf Pattern from Tahki
Folded in two (one side pink-one side black), stitched together, stuffed, attached button and loop to attach to chair.
Fun to do, because I know it was for the "Green Bean Girl"!

Eliese's Beanie
Eliese requested this at the cottage, she saw one at the Art/Craft Fair and her mom told her I could probably knit one for her.
Worked in Malabrigo Moss/Marine
Size 8 Needles
Pattern: KnitSmiple Magazine Fall 2008
Fast, Easy, Fun Knit!
The girls stopped on their way to dinner at the grandparents yesterday.
Grammy said that Cesiley had to have her pillow attached to her dinner chair and Eliese never took her beanie off.
I guess they were a hit.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

But it's Tradition!

Dan's nieces and nephews have been coming to the cottage since they were wee ones.
When the twins were little, Eliese loved being out in the boat it was even her preferred place to nap. Cesiley didn't want anything to do with it, so for a couple of years she and I stayed on the dock and made "pizza pies". This consisted of lake sand in buckets.

Cesiley has grown up and now is content to go on the boat as a first mate. Her true love though is turtle catching. She will take the paddle boat down to the lily pads and catch turtles all day.
This is "Todd", her first catch of the season. She was very sad when it was time to let "Todd" rejoin his family.

Another tradition involves lots of bubble gum.

After a long day of sun and water, there is always the night of the "biggest bubble" and "bubbles within bubbles" contests.

Always 2 pieces of bubble gum, "double bubble" or "bazooka" all of the kids and me piled onto the loveseat.

I'm not sure how long we have been doing this but I know it started with Ethan, who is the reigning champ. Watch out E, the girls are catching up!

Eliese and Cesiley will spend hours during the week just spinning around the dock poles.

This child has no fun in life, can you tell?

This was a shot of Water Trampoline "Gladiator".
Very intense, lot of screaming, shrieking and being thrown in the water.
Not sure who won.

The morning after...all the towels dry on the line for another day of fun!
It's Tradition!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yogini Bolero

Yogini Bolero Pattern by Wendy Bernard.
This pattern got off to a quick start and then vacation got in the way. I finished it this last Monday.

I had such great hopes for this, but I think I am a tad bit too "Busty LaRoux" for this sweater.

I may try again but with some additional shaping in the bust area. In it's current form it gaps, and truly just makes me look more busty. There is "common courtesy" but I draw the line at wearing a sign that says ...look at my boobs! That is what I feel like with this on!!!!

It was an enjoyable knit and I loved working with Blue Sky Skinny Dyed Organic Cotton.

Thanks Heidi and Ruthie who had to go to great heights to achieve these photos!

Climbing up on a old potting table, which promptly broke, Heidi took her life in her hands to obtain the only angle worth shooting. Thanks again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

While the Rest of Us Have Fun...

Dan usually has a project to complete while at the cottage. This year it entailed steps down to the dock. Not only was the truck filled with lumber but so was my car!

First Step - get truck and car as close to hill, those beam(steps) were heavy! And yes, I helped to unload them. Dan, who reminds me often that he gets paid to think, devised a way to carry the beams down the hill. Sleds! We were able to load 2 kids sleds with 5 to 6 beams and send them on their way. Dan got so good at aiming most ended up where he needed them.

Second Step - he then placed them approximately where they would end up. I did not want a straight line, I wanted to follow the path that had been worn in the hill.

Third Step - the digging and placing begins.

Fourth Step-Lets walk them 100 times to make sure the rise is correct.

Fifth Step - after securing with rebar and back filling the steps are complete and perfect enough for a "big Brother" piggyback ride!

We are all very thankful for the new steps, but it would have been nice to spend "family" time with Dan.

While he was busy working on this project for 3 days we were all doing this....

Oh well, the choices we all make!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cottage Holiday

Cam's first dock start of the year.

There is a place I love more than any other. A place where I feel most at peace.
It is know by many names, but the one used most often is "the cottage".

My parents purchased this property when I was a teenager, and I purchased it from them 14 or so years ago.

It is far enough away from our busy lives, that we can not make quick return.
Our cell phones don't have service (pure heaven), the air is cleaner, bird calls not as familiar, the light is brighter, and the nights are truly dark.
If you are really lucky you awaken to loons calling.

I don't spend as much time as I would like there, but over the last 14 years traditions have been established.
Several weekends ago I spent time there with my sister and her daughter.
Next year we have to make it a week, Em!

Em on the dock, undercover from the bees.

This last week with Dan's Family.

Photo Shoot on our last day.

As the kids get older I hope that they will continue to want to spend part of their summer vacation at "the cottage".

I have funny stories and too many photos to share. So prepare for a play by play of the Cottage Holiday.

No knitting was completed on this holiday, but not from lack of trying!