Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Yarns

This winter I got to a few more yarns to add to my basket!

This gray skein came from my husband as a Christmas gift.  There are times when he travels across our state for work, and this skein came from a short stop during one of those times.  He happened across a small knitting shop and purchased me 390 sport weight yds. of the most lovely of natural, undyed gray yarn.  I dont' know what makes me smile more: dreaming of what to make with this yarn, or the thought of him browsing through skeins of wool in a yarn shop?!

This cream yarn (again, undyed) is from a friend-of-a-friend.  She used to raise sheep and had all their fleece processed into yarn.  Now she lives in our city and no longer has her sheep, and she is in the process of selling off her remaining yarn.  When my friend pointed to the clear garbage bag full of skeins in her corner I was giddy - I picked out three skeins, one to gift and two to keep.  I think I have approximately 500 yds. to work with.

Lastly, I picked out three skeins of Peace Fleece from my LYS with gift certificate from my uncle.  I have always been curious about this yarn company - ever since I saw some of their yarn knit up by a friend for a February Lady Sweater.  I have three skeins in Kamchatka Sea Moss, an amazing blue-green heather colorway.  I have already cast on for a wallaby for my youngest.

I think I have enough to keep me inspired for the rest of our winter!

Saturday, January 19, 2013


He doesn't wear it all that often.  Maybe once this winter not including this photo shoot. 

In fact, this sweater had sat for months after completion as I didn't block it and the fit was just a tad wide and a tad short.  I never blogged about it.  It sat next to my sewing machine just waiting. 



A good blocking makes all the difference.  And while it is still on the wide side, it is longer and looks like nice relaxed yoke sweater is supposed to look.  And the wool softened considerably.

Over the holidays my Mother-in-Law shared a story with me.  Recently she had been visiting with my husbands Aunt and Uncle.  One afternoon his Uncle dressed in a sweater that his wife had made for him about 40 years earlier.  The sweater fit like a glove and was still in wonderful condition. 

These sweaters are made to be worn after all.  Used, worn, washed, worn, repaired and worn again. 

If only I (we) can be that lucky.

More history on this sweater here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Year: FO's and job news!

As 2012 came to a close I reminded myself of all that I have to be thankful for.  In taking stock, I keep coming back, humbly, to the gift of my children, their health, happiness and safety.  I am a lucky mother and wife; and happy to be ushering in a new year full of hope and wide-eyed wonder.

In looking forward to 2013 I have some exciting news to share: I will be returning to paid work in a few short weeks.  I accepted an adjunct teaching position in my old department and will be working with masters' students on their final papers.  I am excited to take this step and my New Years' wish is that my family can whether my return to campus and adjust to a new family schedule.  I hope to be able to maintain a goodly amount of knitting, but we'll have to just take it one day at at time.  In the meantime I've enjoyed getting re-connected with campus and all that our little university town has to offer.  I received my doctorate two years ago in December and the time is right to return to the classroom - this time as an instructor.

On the knitting front I am happy to share three FO's!  I finished a small shrug and pair of socks (both gifted) in late December - my last FO's of 2012.  The socks are made with Felici: a self-striping washable wool by Knit Picks (colorway: botany).  The pattern is by Ann Budd - 8 sts/inch.  It is amazing what great socks you can whip out these days with a simple pattern and striped yarn.

basic socks, self-striping yarn


The shrug is made with Vintage DK, a great washable acrylic/wool/nylon blend in a bright magenta.  It suits my niece perfectly.  I finished it with a dark gray dragonfly button (not the one pictured below).  The pattern is by Knitting Pure and Simple.

girls shrug, vintage dk

And I finished a hat on January 1st - my first FO of 2013.  Made from bulky weight Toboggan by Classic Elite yarns, it is a thick, comfy and warm blend of alpaca and wool that has fantastic stitch definition.  The pattern is Foliage from knitty (not to be confused with the other foliage hat I knit in the fall).  I'm not sure if the gold color suits me - this is the left over yarn from the sweater repairs late last year - but it is a lovely hat and one that I will hang on to for the right person.

foliage hat in toboggan
While I didn't come through on the handmade for my own girls this holiday, DH sure did!  He completed a set of three beautiful house-shaped shadow boxes for the older girls' rooms.  They are the perfect place to keep all the 'little stuff' that is so important to them.

And if that wasn't enough, he pulled together a fantastic art caddy for the whole family that fits snugly into one of the built in cabinets in our dining room.  No more half-ripped ziploc bags full of broken crayons, missing-caps-markers laying about, and repeated requests for more paper please