Out with the old and in with the new…

First off – our Holidays were wonderful. It was great to have some time with my family for a change – we don’t get to see each other that often. Everyone loved their gifts, and as promised here is what I made for BadgerDan:

Varsity Socks - 1 Varsity Socks - 2

A Pair of Varsity Socks (which he immediately put on as soon as they were unwrapped) and

WWII Watchcap

an authentic WWII Watchcap (which he asked for).

BadgerDan made(!) me a truly fantastic handstitched leather satchel – it’s huge (14″ x 14″ x 6″) and has more clips than you can shake a stick at. In a word – SQUEE!!!!

Satchel -1 Satchel 2

My travel project for the Holidays was my Highland Hose, and I actually managed to finish the first one:

Highland Hose - Sock 1

These, my friends, are what I call “kneesocks”!!!

In anticipation for the new year, I’ve been going through my projects and wildly finishing off WIPs, ripping out those that needed it and gathering yarn for some new ones.

I present to you – my completed 2008 Mission Falls Sampler Afghan!

2008 Sampler Afghan

and (finally) my completed Mystic Earth Stole!

Mystic Earth Stole - Blocking

Relegated to the Frog Pond was my Casablanca Shawl – I had run into some mistakes (all mine) and didn’t get back to it. I can always knit it again later.

I also took apart my Lopi Vintage Vertical Stripe Afghan (9.75 feet is WAY too big for a blanket) – reballed the yarn and made a new plan of attack. Using the blanket as a massive gauge swatch – I calculated that 165 sts/84 rows would give me a blanket measuring approx 5.5 ft x 3.5 ft. Much easier to deal with. And since it seems that I don’t really do “random” all that well – I sorted the yarn into colour groups and plugged them into a Random Stripe Generator using 1 row & 42 rows as the parameters. I tweaked it a bit in my spreadsheet program, reversed the stripe sequence for the 2nd half of the blanket and voila! One pattern chart to follow. I’m restarting this one at Midnight tonight.

VVS Yarn

This allowed me to free up yarn for a Hemlock Ring Blanket that I couldn’t resist starting on:

Hemlock Ring Blanket

I’m using all browns/beiges/creams radiating out from darkest to lightest.

Unfortunately, I can’t go any further on it until I get a certain ways into the VVS!

The 2009 Sampler Afghan yarn is ready to go:

2009 Afghan Yarn

This is the result of frogging two chunky homespun & handknit sweaters from Equador that I found at the thrift store. It has way too much vegetable matter in it for a garment – but perfect for a camp blanket for BadgerDan! By using an 8mm hook and this year’s CAL’s 6″ square option I should be in pretty good shape. I can always border it with any leftover Lopi from the VVS.

Hmmm, what else??? Oh yeah! I started an Aran Scarf for the Red Scarf Project:

Scarlet Aran Scarf

Today I organized my remaining WIPs and did a little mending that I’d been putting off.

So to sum up the year I have just gone through and counted all my Finished Projects from 2008 – here’s the final tally:

**big breath**

Blankets (3)
Sweaters/Tops/Vests (5)
Lace Shawls (6)
Bags (11)
Hats (9)
Socks (29 pairs)
Mitts (2 pairs)
Slippers (5 pairs)
Dishcloths (42)
Stuffed Toy (1)
Bottle/Tea Cozies (2)
Charity Blanket Squares (3)

Total Completed Projects: 118

Holy smokes is that a lot of yarn!

I’ve learned a lot this year and am very thankful for all the new people who have come into my life. **hugs**

Let us meet this new year with strength, hope and the will to see & make positive changes in our lives and the World.


Happy New Year Everyone!

Published in: on December 31, 2008 at 8:30 pm  Comments (2)  
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Off the hook…

It’s Christmas Eve and what have I been doing? Crocheting my little heart out.

Remember all those 12″ CAL afghan squares I’ve been working on this year? Well, I fell behind a little.

As I figure it, a 2008 Sampler Afghan should be actually finished in 2008 and think that sewing them together on New Years’ Eve is a not too bad way of ending out the year.

So, with December 31st looming large on the horizon, I’ve been working feverishly to get these little darlings done. Here are the ones that fell into the black hole of the blog vacation:

The September CAL Square:

Shells & Waves Square

Pattern: Shells and Waves Afghan Square by Sandi Marshall
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Oyster (003); Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

The October CAL Square:

Pumpkin Patch Square

Pattern: Pumpkin Patch Square by TKroCrafts
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Squash (533); Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

(Not my favorite of the bunch – more on this in a bit.)

The November CAL Squares (there were 2 to choose from – I did both):

Supernova Square

Pattern: Supernova by Chris Simon
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Ink (022); Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

(I LOVE this one.)

Wheel Lattice Square

Pattern: Wheel Lattice by Dayna Audirsch
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Pistachio (028), Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

I counted this one as my 6th filler square.

The Filler Squares:

Bobby Square

Pattern: Bobby’s Square by Mary Carroll
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Heath (017), Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

My gauge was larger than the designer’s so I shortened and adjusted the pattern by a round.

Bold Square

Pattern: Bold Squares by Dayna Audirsch
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Teal (030); Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

Ad Astra Square

Pattern: Ad Astra by Chris Simon
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Damson (024); Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

(LOVE this one too – pattern *and* colour)

Two Tone Square

Pattern: Two Tone Square by Dayna Audirsch
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, Spruce (018); Raven (005)
Hook: 5mm

Initially, I was thinking 24 squares, but after laying out the 21 that I had completed, I changed my mind:

Sampler Afghan - preblocking

4′ x 5′ is plenty big enough and I still have to do a border on it – so I’m calling this baby DONE!

You’ll notice that the October square is separated from the rest of the blanket. It isn’t making the cut – frogging for the yarn.

The leftover colours will be made into socks. Washable wool = socks in this household.

So it looks like all there is left to do on this project is blocking, sewing and a border. Not bad – not bad at all.

Stack o' Squares

Although, I do have this strange craving for pancakes all of a sudden…

As usual, we’ll be on the road for most of Christmas Day as we do brunch with Danny’s Family and then boot over to my folks 1.5hrs away for dinner and an overnight stay.

Wishing you all a Magical (if slightly damp) Christmas…

Snow Tree

Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 10:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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A little bit of this and a little bit of that…

Oh, and I forgot to tell you about a hat!

Holiday Halfdome Hat

A Halfdome for my sister’s boyfriend. He’s new to the family and since we want to keep him, I broke out the “good stuff” for his hat. That’s 100% Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk, my friends. If Elizabeth Zimmerman is correct (and she usually is), I should have him wearing Lopi in no time 😉

I was digging around in the leftover stash yesterday (always cheers me up when I’m feeling grumpy) and decided to line up some sock projects to use up some of the accumulated oddballs. I’ve fallen way behind in the 52 Pair Plunge II, where the current count should be at around 30ish and I’m only at around the 15 pair mark.

Matched up 4 pairs worth in fingering weight:

Oddball Socks - 1

and 2 pairs in worsted weight:

Oddball Socks-2

Those are, of course, for *after* I finish knitting the socks that are currently on my needles:

Seaweed Socks Highland Hose

Seaweed Socks
(ArtYarns UltraMerino 4) and Highland Hose (Hayfield Falkland) – yes, I’m knitting kilt hose. For me. It gets cold in this apartment.

And speaking of cold…my Plurk buddy and podcaster Knitting Purls is putting together a blanket for Warm Up America.

I don’t have much of an acrylic stash left, but still managed to find enough to contribute a 7″ x 9″ “square” to the cause:

KP-WUA Square

To keep it interesting I used an easy washcloth pattern (Tiny Cables by Nanette Blanchard) with a cast-on of 36 stitches. (I added a border of 2 ridges of garter stitch on the top & bottom and 3 stitches of garter stitch up the sides).

I think it ended up looking remarkably like a snack cake. Mmmmmm.

Note: For those of us in Canada – we have a similar organization Blankets For Canada. (Thank you Elaine for the link).

All the holiday knitting is done for this year – I finished up BadgerDan’s last gift the other night (whew!). He’s been working furiously in his office on a secret gift project for me – my curiosity is definitely up at this point.

I leave you with a view of our wee tree:

Christmas Corner

and of Tomi’s protestation of Mommy not sharing her blanket:

Tomi's Comfy Cave


Published in: on December 24, 2008 at 12:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Yule (b)Log

It is the Winter Solstice and my Family and I bid you a Happy Yule!

Blessed Yule

In keeping with my regular holiday gift giving tradition – I have forgone most commercial gifts with handmade ones. As there are only a few days left before our annual family get-togethers and relatively low risk of discovery by the recipients, I will share them here with you.

(For brevity’s sake – I’ve linked to my pattern notes in Ravelry, but most info I’ve listed in the Flickr descriptions too if you can’t access them.)

Slippers Galore:

Muppet Slippers for MIL

Muppet Slippers for my Mother in Law – aren’t they hilarious?

Cabled Slippers for Dad

Chunky Cabled Slippers for my Dad

Armchair Army Slippers

Armchair Army Slippers for my brother

Slipper Socks for Sis

and a pair these slipper socks for my sister too.


Comfy FIL Socks - 1 Comfy FIL Socks - 3

My Father-in-Law loves my socks, so he is receiving this comfy pair – stash busting at it’s best.

Mom's Kneesocks

My mom requested kneesocks. After I got over the initial shock, I went out and picked up a couple of balls of Paton’s Stretch Socks from the local Michael’s. You see, mom is *allergic* to wool and can only tolerate it at levels under 50%, rendering my rather large stash of sock wool useless (more for me, but I digress). This is the only gift that I actually had to buy yarn for this year.

Mom is also getting these Fancypants Fingerless Mitts as it gets pretty cold in her office:

Fancypants Fingerless Mitts - 1 Fancypants Fingerless Mitts - 2


Hell's Kitchen Hat

Rockin’ hot hat for my brother that I call “Hell’s Kitchen“.

Cabled Ribby Hat

A ribbed and cabled toque for Dad. (And for heaven’s sake – it’s pronounced “2”k! whatever the silly people over at Webster’s think.)

I’ve also recreated my favorite totebag for my sister, which I sincerely hope that she likes:

Robin's Retro Totebag

If she doesn’t like this retro embroidered bag I think I might just steal it back from her.

Dad is also getting this Aran Isle Wallet:

Aran Isle Wallet

Made from the slightly modified cabled uppers of the pair of Aran Isle slippers that I ripped out in frustration after completing just one of them. I swear I’ve made sweaters with less shaping than these bloody things.

Some ornaments for the Grandnieces:

Itty Bitty Elf Hat & Stocking - 1

Which I liked so much, that I made us a set too!

Itty Bitty Elf Hat & Stocking - 2

You may note the distict absence of gifts for BadgerDan.

Reasons: (A) He is more computer savvy than I am and (B) I’m still frantically trying to finish off his last gift while he’s asleep.

I’ll post them in a few days – I promise.

As for the big snowstorm that hit us on Friday – here’s how it looked outside our building:

Snowstorm 1 Snowstorm 2

I love Canada.

May you all be warm, safe and covered in handknits this holiday season.

(Happy Hanukkah to all our friends of the Jewish faith too!)

Published in: on December 21, 2008 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nobody’s Perfect

I’ve made it back after a very much longer than anticipated hiatus.

Suffice it to say, life became extremely busy and complicated during this period of absence.

All excuses aside, my Flickr stuff is now sufficiently organized that my sidebar can be as well. Boy, was that a job – let me tell you.

I took today off from holiday knitting to finally get myself digitally fixed-up enough to get a post out to you guys – yes, I’m still alive.

Everything has been updated – so if you don’t see it in my current projects, it’s either been finished or frogged – so check there. You can also visit my Ravelry Projects Page for more info.

(Not on Ravelry? What are you waiting for? It’s free and possibly one of the best resources a knitter/crocheter/spinner could have!)

I’m going to keep things short today – have to ease myself back into this “journalling” thing. I think I overwhelmed myself with trying to do too much all at once and am going to try a simpler approach from here on out. Whether it works or not, we’ll see.

And hey – leave me a comment and tell me what you’d like to see from me starting in the new year. I’m always open to suggestions.

Best Wishes


Published in: on December 18, 2008 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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