Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And finally!

And, finally, my last post for the day.

This is a test knit I finished up over the weekend.  This tank turned out beautifully.  The design and shaping was effortless to knit.  None of this, "...bo 2 sts at each end over the next 6 rows..." business.  The result is a classic, tailored tank that is so heavenly soft against the skin. I am truly amazed at the beauty of this design!  I will definitely be looking forward to more designs by Amanda Bell.  The pattern hasn't been published yet so I don't have a link to a pattern yet.
Castanea Sativa by Amanda Bell
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns - Silk Cashmere 2 ply
Color: Feather

If you've been keep up with today's post, you will notice that all these projects have been knit with Sunshine Yarns.  Yes...my current obsession.  It does hurt that Dani lives here in town so her yarn is so easily accessible.  And it doesn't hurt that she delivers it to me at knit night on Tuesdays.  And it doesn't hurt that she's one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet.  If you haven't used her yarn, do it!  The colors are so beautiful and that Silk Cashmere is the softest yarn I have ever knit with!

Stitches Midwest 2011

I WENT TO STITCHES MIDWEST!!!!  It was so fun!  My first Stitches event.  It was such a quick trip.  I was in on Saturday morning and out Sunday morning.  I met up with some awesome people and bought lots of yarn!  My only disappointment...I didn't run into Jared Flood or Stephen West, both of whom were in attendance on Friday night (so I heard).

It all started when my friend, Lynna, asked if I was going.  She said she'd be taking the bus down for the day with some people from her neck of the woods.  Well, that was all I needed to get the ball rolling.  Next thing I knew, I had a room booked and an airplane ticket purchased!  And the next thing Lynna knew, she was driving herself in for the two days, shuffling me back and forth from the airport, and shacking up with me in my hotel room!  :-)

While I was there I met up with a designer, Sarah Burghardt from Sarah Bear Crafts and a good friend from here in Colorado, Bich-Thu.  Unfortunately, I forgot to get a pic of Sarah and I together...but we did buy yarn together.  :-)
2011-08-27 13.33.27a
This is Bich-Thu and I standing at the entrance of Stitches.  Not a great pic because it's from my phone.
While I was there, I just had to stop by the Malabrigo Yarn booth.  I was hoping to check out the new bases that I've heard about but no such luck.  They didn't have any samples for me to fondle and oggle over.  But to my surprise and delight, the sweater that I knit as a sample almost two years ago, was hanging in their booth!!!  Can you say, "Squeeee!"  I know, I normally don't like that word but I was just so excited!
The blue sweater just to the left of my head is the sample I knit.
And last, but definitely not least, this is a picture of Lynna modeling the cowl I knit for her as a thank you gift for schlepping me to and from the airport.  Of course, I forgot to get a pic of us together, at Stitches, but she was kind enough to take photos and send them to me for sharing on my project page (and blog).  This cowl is so, so heavenly in this yarn.  I will definitely be making another one for me.  :-)
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns - Silk Cashmere 2 ply
Color: Feather

It was really nice to finally be able to attend a Stitches event.  Though I wasn't able to take any classes this time out, I will definitely plan on it next time.  I was fortunate to be able to meet up with Lynna, a woman I've been friends with for almost two years now.  She found my blog and we've been friends from then on.  This was our first opportunity to meet in person.  We vowed we will get our families together, eventually.  And to be able to meet up with Sarah was a treat because she's famous to me.  :-)  She's as sweet in person as she is online. 

ETA: Ooops!  I forgot to show off the loot I purchased!
1. Marisol Yarn - Sulka - Truffle (206)
2.  Miss Babs - Yummy Superwash Sport 3-ply - The Gothic Queen
3.  Ella Rae - Lace Merino - no colorway given

As promised...

As promised, I have a few knits to blog about.  I think I'm gonna just post about them all separately. 

I'll start with my Stephen West, Westknits Mystery Shawl, aka Earth & Sky.  I was so excited to start this. But I had issues from the get-go.  I am awful, absolutely awful about choosing colors to go together.  So after much deliberation, I sought advice from an expert...Dani from Sunshine Yarns.  I've received so many compliments on the colors of this shawl but I can not take credit.
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns -  Single Ply Merino Fine 
Colors: (a) Rose Garden; (b) Plum Wine; (c) Jungle Green 
 If you know my project history, you know that I do not, often, choose patterns with intarsia or stranded knitting.  This pattern had both.  The intarsia I didn't know about until I was well into the second clue of this mystery knit.  But the stranded knitting I knew about and opted for the challenge.  I love the final result of the shawl but I will have to admit that I wasn't fond of knitting it...for the reasons I just stated.  Had I known ahead of time, I would have preferred to end the shawl's larger stripes with the Plum Wine versus the Rose Garden.  As a result, I changed up the color variation on the border.  All-in-all, I am happy with my shawl and will definitely use/wear it. I've decided, recently, that I prefer semi-circular shawls or shawls that arc versus a triangular shape. The wing span of this shawl makes up for the triangular shape making it much more functional.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer is over...

Summer is over...for us that is to say.  They boys started back to school and are now in 1st grade.  I can hardly believe that they are actually full grown kids and no longer babies!  There are lots of firsts this year.  First year they will be at their new school, first year not in the same class, and of course, 1st grade.  They both did fine on their first day of school yesterday and were very excited about the day's events.  We'll see what the second day brings.  :-)  This is them posing in front of their new school on their first day.  They've got goofy expressions on their faces because the sun was in their eyes and by the time I had taken this picture, they were at their wits end with posing for me.  :-)

Now that school has started, I will, again, have two whole free days to myself, a week.  That means more time for knitting, cleaning, and...blogging!  Yes, it's been awhile and I've been quite lax in my efforts.  I have a lot of projects on the needles (quite unlike me to do so) so I should have plenty to blog about in upcoming weeks. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Funny for the day

My friend sent this to me today. I just had to share. It made me smile (and laugh out loud).

amy knit noodles

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kindergarten Graduation

Yes, there's a graduation ceremony for that, too.  At least we didn't have to have one for pre-school.  I say that, not because I think they're silly, but because these things wreak havoc on my emotions!  Last night I attended the first school program for my children.  It was so sweet.  They sang, performed...and graduated.  They are now officially grade schoolers.  I have to admit...I did cry...but I didn't blubber.  :-)
Their before and after.
(Can you tell my gauge on Seamus's vest was a little tighter than Ronan's?)

6 Year Olds in the House!!!

I now officially have two six year olds living in my house!  The boys turned six on May 19th.  People say it all the time, but I really cannot believe how the time has flown.  I just love watching them grown and become their own little selves.  The future holds a lot of changes for them.  As first graders, they will be going to school all day, attending a new school, be in separate classrooms, and wear uniforms.  Wow!  I hope I can do a good job of easing them into it all (at once).  Here are some pics of them before and after (becoming six year olds).
Before...their last night as five year olds...getting into bed.
After...the night of their birthday...finally getting to blow out candles...before bed.
In the past we've typically had a week long (or so) of celebrations and activities surrounding their birthday.  This year is a bit low key.  But fear not..there will be more to follow!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  I can't help but share a pic of my boys in their first hand knit garments, by me.  I was so excited for Easter to arrive so that I can see my guys wearing their vests all day...together.  I couldn't stop looking at them and saying, "You're so handsome!"  I'm such a (corny) mom!  :-)

Easter Vest_Collage
Basic Vest for Children by Diane Soucy
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn - Merino Worsted
Color: Verde Adriana - 117; Continental - 26; Pale Khaki - 602
Ravelry: Seamus's vest; Ronan's vest

Notice the picture in the upper right hand corner of the blog page?  That was the boys three years ago on Easter.  I tried to replicate their poses (unsuccessfully).  I wasn't a very good knitter back then.  Those vests were given to the boys for their two year birthday from a friend of mine.  They are not hand knit but I still loved them none the less.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let the Madness begin!

It's March!  And that means it's time for Malabrigo March Madness!!!  Yes, it's a crazy month for me and I"m already off to a bad start.  I started swatching at midnight last night and was unsuccessful at getting gauge.  I may have to change my thoughts on this.  Last year I finished ten Malabrigo projects and one non-Malabrigo project.  I'm not confident I can do that this year as I have two (maybe three) sweaters on the list, two pairs of socks, and two vests for the boys.  Acht!  Now that I've just typed that out, there is no way!!!!  One can hope, huh?  Well, that's the plan for now, we'll see how I fare at the end of the month.  Oh, I'm co-leading another KAL this year, General Accessory group.  Good luck to all you Malabrigo Marchers!!!  Happy knitting!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I cooked!  It's a rare occurrence for me.  I typically only cook (or prepare) the simplest of recipes.  This recipe has four ingredients...yeah...that's it...so I figured I could handle it.  The ingredients are jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, and oil.  It actually turned out pretty darn good!  My birthday and two others (on my husband's side) are February birthdays and they were all celebrated today.  Fish tacos were on the menu for today's fête.  This recipe has been on my radar so I decided to give it a try.  I think I added too much lime juice because it was kind of watery.  Regardless, it turned out to be a huge hit and the bowl was empty at the end of the night.  Recipe can be found here.
Creamy Roasted Jalapeño Salsa

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I'm so excited about my latest knit!  This was a test knit for a fellow Raveler in Germany, Anke (fallmasche).  Mine didn't turn out quite as refined as her's nor some of the other test knitters' but I'm still in love with it, none the less.  I love everything about this sweater.  The saddle shoulders and pleats on the side make for a really flattering fit...which is the case for every test knit I've seen thus far.  It did end up big under the arms and above the bust line and the sleeves were a bit too long.  Though not pictured here, I did remedy most of that by dampening the sweater with water and throwing it in the dryer on high heat.  Normally, I wouldn't recommend this but the yarn does say machine washable.  I know, typically, that doesn't equate  to mean really washable but in this case, it worked out just fine.  I'm definitely going to knit this again in a short sleeve version and/or at a tighter gauge.  I'm sorry the pattern is not yet published so I can't share a link with you but as soon as it is published, I will update this post. (eta 02.19.11 - pattern is published and links added)
Color: Clay - 177

Friday, February 11, 2011

A few more...

Keeping up with a theme, today's post will show off a few hats that I knit recently.  And from these two knits, I've realized that adding cables to a hat provides added thickness and warmth making 'em that much cozier.

The most recent hat I finished was a test knit for Breean Elyse.  And since knitting it, I've fallen in love with cabled hats.  I can't stop looking at them or for them.  This one was a special treat because it was for me.  Zinc is one of my favorite Malabrigo colorways.  And the hint of taupe really helped make the cables pop!
Obstacles Hat by Breean Elyse
Color: Zinc - 613

Now this hat was knit on a whim.  This was for a friend's mother that recently had brain surgery and as a result needed hats to help protect her from the cold Minnesota winter.  I wasn't even looking to knit a hat but when I saw the pattern and noticed it called for some yarn in my stash, I cast on!  I didn't do the best job paying attention to the plain knit rounds so it isn't as slouchy as the pattern called for but I'm not so sure that's a bad thing.  Because of the chunky yarn and the cables, the hat ended up being fairly heavy so a slouchy hat may have resulted in a hat that wouldn't stay on the head (at least that's what I'm tellin' myself).  :-)  I hope this does the trick and helps keep her head warm!
Color: Lilacs - 6183

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Don't Know Why

I don't know why I haven't blogged in awhile.  When I think maybe I will, my next thought is, "I could be knitting."  I always seem to place these self imposed deadlines on myself and then the thought of blogging instead of knitting gets me all stressed out.  Ach!  There could be worse things, huh?

Well, I have a lot to share since my last post.  I'll start with a few shawls that I finished up recently....

This first one is a (belated) test knit I did for Debbie O'Neill.  I am really please with the end result of this shawl.  I wasn't so sure about the color as I was knitting it, but after blocking, I'm in love.  The bamboo in this yarn resulted in such a light airy feel and the silk gives it such a nice sheen.  This will be perfect for those spring/summer evenings when a sweater would be just too much.  The stitch pattern transitions nicely from one section to the next without getting too long.  I enjoyed this knit, very much.
Yarn: Araucania Itata Solid
Color: 2009

My next knit flew off the needles.  Unlike the last shawl, this one has more of a crescent shape.  The colors of this shawl are absolutely gorgeous!  I just love pink and brown together.  For those of you heading out to Stitches West, stop by  Sunshine Yarns - booth 1139, as Dani will have this on display at the booth for all to touch.  :-)  When I finally received the much anticipated Malabrigo Book 3 booklet, I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that Stephen West has three patterns in the book!  He did not mention a peep about it.  Though the shawl is crescent shaped, per his usual style, it still has nice angles and symmetry.  
Lakedale Shawl - Stephen West
Color: Badlands (pink) & Coal Creek (brown)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Instant Gratification

Ah...isn't it nice when you can get an FO in less than an hour from start to finish?  These little gems are instant gratification.  I busted out 6 of them in less than 5 hours of knitting time.  These are my final FOs for 2010.
Café by Miss T (page 42)
Yarn: Dream in Color - Classy & Malabrigo - Rios

I've been off the grid for a while because I was working on a sample knit.  That sample knit was the biggest knitting project I've ever worked on...ever!  And the longest thing I've ever knitted on a consecutive basis.  I can't post any pics until the pattern is published but I'm very excited to share it!

Happy New Year and here's to many happy FOs this year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sea Princess

...and how...isn't she! 

This was, by far, the most challenging and rewarding test knit I've ever done.  I really love how this little sweater turned out.  And I had a hard time parting with it.  This pattern gives you a lot of bang for your buck.  It comes in sizes 6 months to 14 years (depending on the yarn you choose)!  The pattern is very comprehensive so nothing is left to guessing. I finished this test knit back in October but waited to blog about it until it was gifted.  This was a late birthday gift for a friend's daughter.  It's a perfect fit and I couldn't be happier that she has it. 
Sea Princess_Collage
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
Color: Angel Delight - 168