Friday, April 30, 2010

Gail (aka Nightsongs)

Last night, I finished Gail (aka Nightstongs). I am so very excited and very pleased with the end product! It's knit with 640ish yards of 2-ply, 100% lace handspun by Jane of Colours From Chaos. I used a size 4 needle and knit 9 repeats and the edging. This makes a shawlette sized piece and I have about 3 yards of yarn left.

I was a little bit nervous starting out, because the chart felt challenging to me. And truthfully, the chart included with the pattern requires a certain level of familiarity with lace. Thankfully, lots of people on Ravelry take pity on those of us less capable. I used this chart to complete the pattern. The shawl is worked from the top down. Honestly, I just didn't get this until I was on the last few rows of the edging. I started with one leaf, so it felt like that should have been the tip of the bottom. Who knew you could knit a triangle by starting in the middle of an edge?

This shawl was an absolute joy to knit. I felt so blessed to be knitting on a project with yarn handspun by the designer. What a wonderful gift! I also know for whom this shawl was named, and she was a great encouragement to me during a rough time last year. There's nothing like counting your blessings with each stitch. And I loved watching how the colors in the yarn change. I loved watching each leaf grow. I can't wait to see how it looks after I block it (sometime this weekend, I hope!) I'm a little sad to see this project go; its become a good friend. Familiar, and comforting. Have you ever had that kind of relationship with a project?

I'm embarking on a top secret, very exciting project. It will be quite a while before I can post details, but know that in the midst of everything, I have a secret project. :)
Happy knitting!

Places to Knit

1. The armchair in the living room, preferably with my feet up on the ottoman.
2. The back porch.
3. In bed, before I go to sleep.
4. In the van, waiting for little boy to get out of speech. Or in the van, while hubby is driving.
5. At the park, while the kids are playing.
6. During playdates, talking to my friends.
7. In waiting rooms, before appointments.
8. Anywhere else it's convenient, I'm bored, or there's nothing else to do.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Skills

Well, there are plenty of skills I would like to acquire. I'd like to do some entrelac, and I'm under the impression it's a lot easier if you can knit backwards. I'm still pretty fuzzy on the provisional cast-on. I've never attempted intarsia (although, I think I could pick that up easy enough). And, as previously mentioned this week, I think steeking is in my future. The wonderful thing about knitting is it can be as easy or as compicated as you want, and there are always new skills to acquire!

In actual knitting news, I have 4 rows left of Gail. I may be able to cast off tonight!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I admire a number of knitters. I check in on about a dozen or so blogs a day. (I know, I could subscribe to them and get emails when there are new posts, but that's just not all that fun.) Some of these blogs I read because of the actual knitting. Some I read because of the writing. Some because the writers are moms like me, and knit for kids about the size of the kids I have. Occasionally, I just feel like the writer and I could be friends, if we lived near each other. To pick just one is really difficult.

I finally settled on Jane. Jane is an AMAZING knitter! (Check out this post on her blog. Not only did she knit that shawl, she designed it!) Take a quick look at her projects page on Ravelry, and you'll see further evidence of her talent. Jane is also one of the most kind and generous Internet friends I have. She is more than willing to help out lace knitters tackling her gorgeous designs, and always has an encouraging word. She also gifted me with some of her gorgeous handspun yarn (I'm using it to knit up Gail). We came oh so close to meeting in person last summer, but traffic and time limits got in the way. (Hopefully, someday....)

I feel so blessed to have such a talented and generous knitting friend.


There are many, many patterns that I would like to knit that are just out there for another time. Some of them are time consuming, some of them require yarn that I just can't afford right now, and a few of them are beyond my skills. The skill thing isn't much of a thing though. I consider myself reasonably intelligent, and firmly believe that there isn't much I can't learn, given enough time and resources.

Up until last week, I thought I could live my whole knitting life without steeking. I just wasn't interested. But then, we bought my mom this book for her birthday, and my husband found a sweater he thinks he would like. My husband has never asked me for a knitted garment. I'll learn to steek.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about designing my own patterns. I know I need a better understanding of garment construction, a much wider base of stitch patterns, but in time, I think it's something I can do.

To what patterns do you aspire?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting/Crochet Blog Week

Eskimimi has created a knitting and crochet blog week (Thanks, Joan, for pointing me to it!).

I learned to knit in October, 2006 from Linda at Have Ewe Any Wool? My mom comes from a long line of knitters, and took knitting up again when she became a grandmother. I remember her trying to teach me when I was young, but like a lot of crafty things, I just didn't have the patience. After having kids though, and watching my mom knit, I decided I might like to give it a try. So, mom watched the kids and I went to her knitting class in her place.

Linda is a terrific teacher, and had me knitting and purling in no time. I bought some brown Galway wool, and made my husband a seed stitch scarf for Christmas. I made another scarf a couple of toddler sized ponchos (two scarves stitched together), and then graduated to more complex things. I can't imagine my life without knitting now. What would I do with myself?

Who taught you to knit?

Sheepshearing Festival

On Saturday, the boys and I went to Walthams Sheepshearing Festival. The whole family was supposed to go, but Little Girl got a tummy bug. So, the boys and I had some Mommy/Son time.

We saw alpaca, (aren't they cute?)

And llamas,

And horses,

Little boy was particularly enamored by the horses, and spent a lot of time hanging on the fence just staring at them. We went back at least three times.
There were only a few fiber vendors, and I resisted the urge to buy anything. I'm not technically on a yarn diet, but I know I don't really need any yarn right now. I did buy some pretty smelling soap and some local honey (did you know local honey can help with seasonal allergies? We're hoping it will help Big boy.) The weather was beautiful, the boys enjoyed themselves, and we had a great time!
Little girl, however, is very sad that she missed the sheep. So, we've decided to go the NH Sheep and Wool Festival next month. It's a nice day trip and there are a lot more animals. But, the yarn resisting may be downright impossible. I'll try to go with a few one skein projects in mind.....
Happy Knitting!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Little Boy is 4!

Yesterday, Little Boy turned 4 years old. His favorite thing to do these days is wear his Batman Halloween Costume, and pretend to be Bruce Wayne/Batman. He's watched the old Adam West series with his Dad, and just loves to fight the bad guys. So, I made him a Batman cake. I think it turned out pretty nice.
I'm so proud of my big 4 year old. He has this wonderful imagination that shows in his play. He's very into how things work and putting things together. He wakes up with a bundle of energy - little boy hits the ground running and doesn't stop until nap and bedtime. And, he's incredibly sweet. We feel so blessed to have a boy so full of life and personality!
I haven't posted knitting pictures in a while, but I am knitting away every day. I'm finished with the lace bottom of the Lelah tank top, and have to figure out how I'm going to do the top. I have some ideas, but have to write the shaping down for myself. I've also started a pair of socks to give my brother for Christmas. That's been my out-and-about project.
And of course, I'm still working on Gail. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying knitting up this shawl. The yarn is such gorgeous colors, and making each stitch just makes me happy. The purl sides are getting longer and longer though. I finished the 8th repeat last night. I'm thinking I need to do 11 or 12 repeats, but I'm sure if I'll have enough yarn. I promise to post pictures soon.
Tomorrow, we're going to the Sheepshearing Festival at Gore Place. We haven't been, but it's only about 20 minutes from our house and it looks like there will be lots of enjoyable things for the kids to do and see. I'm looking forward to another fun, family day.
Happy knitting!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yarn Contest

Lost City Knits is giving away a skein of laceweight or cobweb weight yarn to one lucky winner in the color scheme "On a Clear Day."

On a clear day, I would love to sit in the sunshine, amongst some flowers, and enjoy some quiet reading and knitting time. Which really means, someone else will be somewhere else with my children. I love them, but they're not exactly quiet. :)

We've had a really great few days around here though. My parents visited us for the weekend, and we visited the Boott Cotton Mills in Lowell. The kids handled the musuem really well, and we even got to ride in a trolley! Yesterday, we went to the beach and played in the sand. I even dug up some clams! (I returned them to the sea, because I'm not really sure what the rules/regulations are for clamming in these parts. Or in any parts, really.)

I've been working on the Lelah top, and hope to be finished with the bottom section tonight. I should post pictures of something, but the kids are calling me outside.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Princess Cruise

Hey - if you're in the Boston area and have a little princess, you can win a Princess Luncheon Cruise on the Spirit of Boston for Saturday, April 24th. Check out for details!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

Ways to go from this:

To this:

1. Join a KAL for Lelah with the beginning lace knitters group on Ravelry, despite having other plans for April knitting. Decide to join along because I'm basically absent from this group, but I don't want to be. And because my new year's resolution was to knit more for myself, and Lelah is in my queue. And I'm knitting it in Cotton TLC, so it's pretty darn inexpensive.
2. Measure and calculate according to the directions.
3. Cast on 220 stitches, knit the first round and discover you have one extra stitch. Drop the extra stitch, and midway through the second round realize it wasn't an extra stitch, you just skipped a stitch in the pattern.
4. Frog and cast on 220 stitches again. Repeat step 3. Tell yourself you're an idiot, and pay extra careful attention to step 5.
5. Cast on 220 stitches, and VERY carefully, checking often, knit the first round.
6. Congratulate yourself on completing the first round, and keep on knitting.
7. Realize your first ball of yarn is almost gone, and yet you don't have much knitted. Worry a little bit, because you bought 4 balls of yarn, and you thought that was about one whole extra ball.
8. Go back to the pattern and your measurements. Begin to realize you made a big erro in your mathematical reasoning, and realize your shirt is about 10" too big around the hem.
9. Congratulate yourself for being a math genius, and then tell yourself you're pretty stupid for not catching this problem way earlier. Like, before you cast on the second or third time.
10. Frog again, and wind up yarn. Place project in bottom of current project bag until it learns to behave itself.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Impromptu Knitting Class

On Monday, I took Little Girl and Big Boy to karate. Big Boy has been going since September, and Little Girl is just starting. The classes are offered at our local Boys' and Girls' Club, and is INCREDIBLY priced. Big Boy really enjoys it, and it has done wonders for his self-confidence.

None of that has anything to do with this post, except to explain where I was.

Anyway, I was sitting on the gym floor during Little Girl's class, knitting away on a hat, when a little 9 year old girl ran across the floor, and slid to a halt right in front of me. "Wow!" she said, "Knitting! That's cool! How do you do that?" And so, I taught her how to knit. She's got the knit stitch down, but has a rough time with the purls. Next week, I'll try to bring her some yarn and needles she can keep.

The bigger question - how to convince the Boys' and Girls' Club they need a knitting instructor on staff?

Daddy Crafts

This year, my husband took charge of dyeing Easter eggs. Instead of hardboiling a dozen eggs, he poked a small hole in each end of the eggs, broke up the yolk, and then the kids used a straw to blow the egg out. I was a little nervous about the mess, but DH did a phenomenal job of keeping order.

We dyed the eggs with a regular Easter Egg dyeing kit from the grocery store, and after they were dried, we suspended them from the chandelier. Don't they look great?

Monday, April 5, 2010


visited 16 states (32%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Someone had this up on Ravelry, so I filled it out for fun. I've been very much dreaming of the beach lately, but I'd like to go without the kids. It's much easier to lose yourself in a book when you're not worrying about small children wandering off. :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Christ the LORD is risen today!
He is risen indeed!