Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bella Bomber

This year I have less Christmas knitting than last year. This is good in more than one way. Other than being crazy this time of year, it gave me more time to (try and) be creative. So my attempt at being more creative...

My niece requested an ear flap hat for Christmas. I debated about buying a super cute Target version that was $12 or struggle with finding a pattern that I was happy with. So! For her birthday (which is the week after Christmas) I wanted to knit Bella's Mittens for her. Finally, it occurred to me that I should knit a matching hat but the only Bella hat pattern I'd seen on Ravelry did not have ear flaps. This is where I got creative! I decided to try my hand at designing one. A fellow Raveler, AmberGale, named it...Bella's Bomber. I've attached a link for notes. I wasn't able to attach a .pdf file (I'm not so html inclined). :-) This is in no way a pattern! I just don't want anyone to be disappointed. You'll still need to refer to Bella's Hat pattern by Holly Easely while knitting Bella's Bomber.

I blocked the heck out of this because I thought it was going to be too small (that's why the cables flattened out so much). It's a hair big now but Malabrigo tends to bounce back a bit so I think it will end up being a perfect fit. Now, I gotta figure out how to make a cord and attach it. I'm so bad at i-cords, mine always are so bumpy. (Not a great pic because it was cloudy and snowing.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Tis the season

...for parties and lots of holiday fun! So, Tuesday was my annual neighborhood Bunco ornament exchange. Wednesday I attended the Boulder Knitting Collective Christmas Gift Exchange Party, and tonight will be my annual book club gift exchange. Phew!

Last night's party was a hoot! It was so fun to be surrounded by knitters in the holiday spirit. The gift exchange got a bit heated at times but a good time was had by all. Alas, I did not get pics of the buffet spread that everyone contributed to. Here's a pic of all the great women in attendance. Thanks everyone for such a great time!

In this photo: (top) - Javalulu, Andrea, Jerusha, Bich-thu, Stephanie, JoAnn
(middle) - Aja (pink & white striped top), Marty, Becky, Pip (hostess), Cathy
(front) - Kristen, Emmy Lou, Katy, Amy (me)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Just a quick note to share my great day.

It started with this.... How cool is that? Not just a beautiful sight because of the balloon but look at that view! That's out my backyard. I love living out of "town".

 contribution to Thanksgiving dinner at my in-laws. That there is the sight of 20 lbs of mashed potatoes which includes 3 lbs of butter and almost 2 pints of heavy whipping cream. Mmmm.... Just for scale - that is a regular 11 x 17 cookie sheet (yes...that bowl is HUGE!).

Friday, October 30, 2009

I never... anything! But my luck has changed. A blogger/Ravelry friend, Leslie, was having a contest on her blog and the prize was this beautiful shawl. And guess what? I won! So now that our sidewalks are dry, from the recent snow storm, I finally made it down to the mailbox and found that my prize was awaiting my retrieval. How lucky am I? These colors are perfect for the fall season. I know this shawl will get much wear. Thank you so much, Leslie. Know that this will be loved!

(This pic of me wearing the shawl was taken by my four year old son, so it's a little shaky - and he had me laughing.)

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I needed a break from sample knitting. So I whipped these hats out in one day! The boys did not wear the hats I made for them last year because they were too scratchy. So when picking out yarn for this year's hats, I decided, first and foremost, it needs to be soft. On a recent yarn crawl to northern Colorado LYS, I found some Berroco Vintage Wool at Woolen Treasures in Loveland. The colors were right and the yarn was soft. The only downside to the yarn was the acrylic/wool content of 50/40. I would have been happier if it were the other way around (which is a me issue, not a "boys" issue). I had been scouring Ravelry for just the right hat pattern. When the father is involved in the choosing of a pattern, it always seems to be ten times as hard.

We finally agreed on the Rib-A-Roni, by Jane Turner (Ravelry link). This pattern was super quick, really easy to knit, and a well written pattern. I love how the crown decreases turned out...such nice clean lines! We'll have to see how the yarn holds up but I'm very happy with the colors and how well they look together. I knit the Youth size for the boys' 20" heads, started the stripe at two inches from cast-on row, and started the crown decreases at five inches from cast-on row.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Speaking of poop...

I let a friend borrow our little potties a while back ago and when we saw her yesterday, she gave them back to us. The boys were so excited when they saw the potties. They said, "Now our teddy can have a potty!" When I saw the boys putting their teddy bears on their old potties, I couldn't resist knitting them these little fake poops. :-) Needless to say, they are delighted and tickled to have their own play poop!

Teddy on his potty.

Teddy's fake poop.

Close up...
ETA: I have been remiss in not linking the pattern. I'm sorry. Fake Poop pattern...
etsy link Ravelry link

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009


It's fits...and I love it! This is the test knit that I did for Malabrigo Yarns. This was my first adult sized garment knit in pieces. I definitely learned a lot during this process. At the end of it all, I really enjoyed it. I will be knitting another of these in a different colorway, as mentioned in an earlier post. But before I begin that, I want to work on a few leisurely projects.

Sayago - Silky Merino Pullover by Melissa Leapman for Malabrigo Yarns from Book 2

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Great Unveiling - Part I

The baby shower that I've been knitting furiously for has finally come and gone! I'm calling this Part I because I only finished Carrie and Becky's gifts - I still need to finish Kristi's. I felt really bad about Kristi not being able to take anything home from me but no so much now that the shower is over (she knows she'll get her gift soon enough). They all received some really great hand knitted gifts. It was really fun to see all the gifts knitted up by all the women in this SnB.

These are the items I knit up for Carrie:
Fiona Top by Sanne Bjerregaand

Log Cabin Blanket

And these are the items I knit up for Becky:
Avery Sweater by Kristi Geraci

Log Cabin Blanket

Celeste did a great job planning the shower and we all had fun participating in the shower activity! She had all these templates cut out and fabric paint for painting on Onesies. Check it! I can be creative with a little direction!

Squirrel for Kristi

Robin for Carrie

Owl for Becky

Friday, July 24, 2009

Because I don't already have enough on my plate!

I cannot contain myself! I just have to show off pictures of yarn that arrived today! I signed up to do test and sample knitting for Malabrigo and I was chosen! I'm SOOO EXCITED! So, amidst all the baby knitting that needs to get done by mid-August, I have the test knit to finish by then also! I'll blog more about the details are pictures for now!
And Malabrigo threw these in...just because!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another first...and another!

I have been so busy! There are three women that are pregnant in my knitting group. Though their due dates are from September to December, the baby shower for all three is mid-August. That means, I have to knit everything for all three by then! I have been knitting like crazy and I still don't know if I'm gonna get it all done.

But today...? Today was a treat! I attended my very first knitting class, ever! A Cookie A. class at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins - Sock Innovation: Top Down Sock Design. I don't have anything to compare to, but this class was fun! I found Cookie to be pretty laid back and easy to follow and understand. After a few false alarms, I found a stitch pattern that worked for sock knitting and started my first sock design! plan is to knit a few repeats of the pattern on the leg and then decide if I like the yarn enough to continue. I chose a stitch out of a Japanese stitch pattern book but, unfortunately, do not have a pic of what it's supposed to look like. I've included a picture of what I have so far (one row repeat). It's not the best picture (but can you tell Cookie helped with the ribbing). I'm really anxious to work on this and get my the first sock done but I won't really have time until after the shower. I'm hoping I won't have forgotten all that I've learned by then!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Estes Park Wool Market

This is the weekend of the annual Estes Park Wool Market. I went up on Saturday with some women from two of my knitting groups. This was the first year I've been able to attend. In previous years the event was always on Father's Day weekend and I could never get away but this year it was held a week earlier. It was amazing! I had so much fun. It wasn't fun just because of all the yarn, fiber, and animals, but because I really enjoyed being able to experience this with fellow knitters. That's what really made it for me! Here's a couple of pics from the day. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the Paco-Vicunas which was my favorite animal.

All of us with our loot!

This is a Wensleydale sheep. Isn't it pretty!

Knitting updates

It's been a little while since I've blogged about knitting. I've done a little of this and a little of that. But the biggest difference is that I've knit (almost) three pairs of socks! A while back ago, I told one of my knitting friends that I was not (yet) a sock knitter and that I was hoping that the new book by Cookie A, Sock Innovation would change that. I even broke down and invested in some sock blockers!

The first pattern from the book was Glynis. I loved knitting these socks. The pattern is asymmetrical but still intuitive and quick to memorize. Unfortunately, I didn't get to keep these socks as they were a birthday gift for a friend. (Not the greatest pic but they have since been gifted.)
The next pattern I knit was not a Sock Innovation pattern but still a Cookie A design. The Pomatomus is for the Purl Knit Cafe KAL. I have to be honest, I wasn't a big fan of the pattern but I agreed to do the KAL before the pattern was picked. After the pattern was picked I thought I might be pleasantly surprised and end up liking it. Well - the latter might have been true if I had picked a different yarn. One good thing has come from this...Lynn told me that she liked them well enough - so she'll be the lucky recipient of this pair (when the other sock is done).

And finally! I am MOST excited about the last sock knit! This was my first test knit and I loved it. It was challenging for me as I'm a newbie to sock knitting and I found it a bit intimidating. The end result...I loved it...test knitting and the finished socks! I love the pattern and how the sock design mirrors each other.

The Loretto Sock, designed by Kristi Geraci
more Flickr pics

Hermit Park

In front of our cabin at Hermit Park
Ronan, Tim, Amy, Seamus

Last weekend we camped at Hermit Park again. We stayed in the same cabin and camped with the same family. This time the weather was nice enough to actually sit by the campfire and enjoy cooking without freezing and huddling in the cabin. Seamus and Ronan actually had plenty of time to "explore" the surrounding area and do lots of climbing. There was one incident that was pretty scary. Seamus was climbing on a log up on a rock and all of the sudden started screaming. After having to scale the rock I found Seamus standing on the log with giant red ants covering his feet and ankles! It was like something out of a horror movie! Seamus was screaming, I was holding him under the armpits, trying to get his shoes off, and swipe all the ants off of him, and Tim was trying to get both of us off the rock. All ended well but shook us all up.

When I was a kid, on some camping trip - Girl Scouts or 6th grade camp - I remember baking cookies on the campfire. Keep in mind I've camped maybe five times since said camping trip. So I thought the kids would enjoy the same experience of baking cookies on the campfire. We started with a tube of Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough, a box, and aluminum foil.I cut the box top flaps off, covered the outside and lined the inside of the box with foil, and finally, added dollops of cookie dough to the inside of the box. The first batch went fairly quickly and tasted ok. The second batch took forever! And then something started to come back to me. I could vaguely remember covering the opening of the box with another foil covered flap. Wow! After that it was like a real oven! The cookies baked in the recommended 7-10 minutes. There was some technical difficulty. Apparently, I left a crack in the foil which was enough for the box to catch on fire - under the foil!So, though the cookies had a hint of smoke flavoring - they were enjoyed by all!

Catching up

Where to start? This past week has been a whirlwind of activity. I guess the easiest way to organize it all is to blog about them all separately. Here goes!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

He's a maniac, maniac...

I just couldn't resist posting this pic! The boys have been wanting me to knit them sweatbands for a while now. So, we went to the yarn store and picked out some yarn and I finally knit them up on Saturday night.
I guess I could have knit a few more rows to make the bands wider. I'm not sure if it's the color or the narrowness of the sweatbands that make me think Flashdance! (Ronan on left and Seamus on right)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This was the overwhelming theme of this year's birthday celebrations. Ronan & Seamus turned four years old today. Can you believe it? Their birthday cakes, decorations, and toys all reiterated their current enthusiasm...Batman. There was a family birthday party on Sunday and today was the birthday party that consisted mostly of our friends and their kids at The Hop.

Their birthday is always bittersweet for me. For those of you that don't know, all three of us almost died on their birthday. So it is on their birthday that I always feel especially grateful for my family and our good health. I leave you with the last picture of them on their birthday before bed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Struttin' his stuff

We have family in town from Minnesota. The boys have been really looking forward to this visit because their cousin Haley, whom they have not seen since July 2007, is one of the visitors. We went to the Denver Zoo today. We were treated to quite a display by the male peacocks. There were four males vying for the affection of two females. Beautiful...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My First

B.O.B - Button on Sweater by Jackie Pawlowski
My first real sweater, and knit for me, to boot! I'm so in love with it. :-) I'm really proud of it's practical, it's attractive, and it fits! The pattern is very easy to follow and the knitting grew fast with chunky yarn. Picking up stitches (for the button band) on size 10.5 US needles is SO MUCH faster and easier than with sock yarn on size 1.5 US needles! There's nothing about this sweater that I wish I had changed. It fits around the waist and chest just fine without adding too much pressure on the buttons and the sleeve length is perfect. I love the high collar that keeps the breeze off my neck and the cables that follow it all the way up. I did add quite a bit of length to the arms and body in addition to spreading out the decreases for the raglan arm shaping to give more room at the armpits. (The raglan shaping was a challenge that my friend Emily helped me hurdle. Emily - you're so smart!) The only part of this sweater that I didn't like doing was sewing on the buttons - all EIGHT of them. I guess it was well worth it. The yarn that I knit this in has to be the softest wool I have ever touched and felt against my skin - Malabrigo Chunky. Even the Malabrigo Worsted is not as soft as this!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

So we went camping this past weekend at Hermit Park! It was fun. Lynn said that she and her family were thinking of going and I invited myself (and my family) along. What? Camping in March? Well... cabin camping. The cabins were really nice but still lacked running water and electricity. Thank goodness it had heat and a propane stove. Even the port-o-potty was decent! There were 2 bunk beds but each bunk had 2 twin mattresses so the cabin could sleep a total of 8 adults (or many more kids). Seamus was doing a good job of pulling his own weight.
This is Seamus climbing up the ladder of the bunk beds with his sleeping bag and tent on his back.When we were pulling out of the driveway, Tim looked at me and said, "Look at how much crap we have for one night!" True, true, but most of it was needed regardless of how many nights we stayed. The boys wanted to sleep on the top bunks so Tim and I slept on the outside with one of the boys on the inside. It got soooo hot! Poor Seamus ended up moving down to the bottom bunk in the middle of the night because he just couldn't stand it. The weather was decent but it was windy at night so campfires weren't much fun. But all in all, a good time was had by all. One more pic to end it on. This is of all the kids hunkered down to watch Max & Ruby on portable DVD players (my kind of camping). ;-)

more pics of our camping trip here...