Saturday, November 29, 2008

Forget everything...

that I mentioned in my last post. I haven't started Scott's mittens, I frogged the Lopi socks because I didn't have enough yarn, and I still haven't touched the chevron lace gaiter I started for Ariane.

Instead, I made a Tudora using a skein of Sheep Shop Yarn Company Sheep 1 in color G017.

I bought this yarn on Cape Cod in the fall to make a beret but when I was looking for yarn to make the Tudora, it jumped up and yelled "Pick Me!" This neckwarmer will look really nice with Ariane's black coat.

And because the Lopi socks were frogged, I had to start something quick to make for SAM 2008. So here are another pair of Baby Monkey Socks using leftover Online sock yarn on size US 2 (2.75 mm) needles.

The picture was taken a few days ago. I'm actually 5 rounds from starting the toe on the first sock. If I knit most of today, I could finish the pair. Unfortunately, my house needs some TLC. But we'll see what happens.

And I think I'm done with KAL's for a while. I'm tired of knitting to deadlines. There is one more month in this latest round of Sock-A-Month 6 but I don't know if I'm going to attempt to finish a pair of socks in December. I don't even know if I'm going to push myself to finish the Baby Monkeys for November. Stress-free knitting is what I want to do.

Well, I'd better get moving if I'm going to get anything constructive done today. I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A bunting we will go...

The baby bunting was completely finished by Saturday night.

I sewed the side and sleeve seams and then tossed the bunting and the zipper into the wash separately. They both went into the dryer. Then I sewed the zipper into the bunting. I wanted to make sure the zipper didn't shrink and pucker the seam.

The James C. Brett "Marble" washed and dried like a dream. The bunting is super soft now and no pilling or distortion at all. This is a great acrylic yarn for knitting. There was only a few yards of yarn left from the two skeins I had in the Patagonia colorway so I didn't make a hat to match.

Now to decide what to work on next. Scott is asking for his warm mittens. I'm trying to decide if I want to make them using double knitting or if I want to knit a heavy outer mitten and then a lighter alpaca inner mitten. He voted for the second choice. I recently bought Folk Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski and she has patterns for both methods. I also have Homespun Handknit edited by Linda Ligon and it has patterns for double knitting and two-end knitting. Any one of these methods is going to be confusing and time consuming which is why I keep procrastinating.

I mentioned in my last post that I started a lace neck gaiter for Ariane. I haven't picked it back up again but I think it might be next on the list. It should be a quick knit.

But, this is the last week in November, and I need to finish a pair of socks for Sock-A-Month 2008. I have a pair started in Lopi for Warm Woolies using size US 9 (5.5 mm) needles. I just started the gusset decreases on the first sock. Maybe I should work on these first.

Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Winter has arrived in central NY. The temperatures are in the 20's at night and only reach the middle 30's during the day. And we've had some snow. I don't know why people seem so surprised, it happens every year.

I finished up one pair of mittens for afghans for Afghans.

I used Elizabeth Durand's Classic Pattern for Children's Mittens which can be found on the A4A website. The yarn is Plymouth Galway Worsted in Pink Marl on size US 6 double points.

I love using this yarn. I wish one of the local shops carried it. This skein was found in the sale bin at Patternworks when I was there a couple of summers ago. There is one shop in Barneveld (about 45 minutes away) that carries some Galway and also has Plymouth Encore. I would really like to get up there on Saturday and stock up a little on these two yarns. It depends on the weather and what Saturday brings.

I'm getting close to the end of the baby bunting. As you can see here, the front is done.

The sleeves are done and I have 3 more inches on the back before starting the raglan decreases. Then it's a matter of sewing in the sleeves, picking up and knitting the neckband, and sewing in the zipper. I should be able to accomplish all this before Sunday. In fact, I'd like to finish it by Friday. Then, if I have enough yarn left, I'd like to make a hat to go with it.

Once this bunting is done, I'm not sure what to work on next. Scott needs warm mittens, I have tons of partially finished pairs of socks, there are a couple unfinished baby sweaters hanging about, I want to knit some things for charity, and I don't have enough time to do most of it.

So, I think I'm going to make my daughter a lace gaiter from the November 2008 issue of Creative Knitting. It should be a very quick knit. I have two skeins of Plymouth Yarn Suri Merino (55% alpaca, 45% extrafine merino wool) in a light rose that will look perfect. And I may have accidently cast on for it last night and knit the first two rows.

All I can say is I'm very glad I'm not knitting Christmas gifts this year!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yarn anyone?

In the past, I've written a couple of times about Sybil's Yarn Shop outside of Cooperstown, NY. It's housed in 3 storage sheds linked together to make a shop. And it's filled top to bottom with yarn. Good yarn. Cascade, Mirasol, Patons, Noro, Ella Rae, Farmhouse Yarns, Araucania, Online, Elsebeth Lavold, and much more. And they are usually priced below retail.

Well, I went two Saturdays ago with a friend of mine. I wanted to buy some more Queensland "Kathmandu DK". (Yes, that is another brand she has.) And to see what she had in alpaca. I did get two more skeins of the Katmandu I wanted (same color and dyelot) so I now have 9 skeins to make something yummy. I also bought 3 skeins of Mirasol "Sulka" which is 60% merino, 20% alpaca, and 20% silk bulky weight yarn. Sooo soft and yummy! Oh, and a skein of Arancania "Ranco" sock yarn just because she had it and it was new. And all this for about $36.00.

While I was waiting for my friend to finish shopping, I took a couple of pictures with my cell phone so I could show everyone just how full of yarn this place really is.

This picture shows the first room you walk into

Yes, that floor space is all there is to this room. The little room in the back is her "sale room". Almost all the yarn in there is $2.00 a skein. It's mostly Patons "Canadiana" and "Shetland Chunky" but there are some mystery cones, too. The back wall is Ella Rae. The left side is her Noro supply. And on the right wall (which unfortunately you can't see) is mostly baby yarn. Oh, yeah, she has a lot of Sirdar, too.

And then we move to the middle room

This room has Cascade 220 (on the right hand side so you can't really see it), and on the back wall and left side you can find Cascade "Pastanza", Sublime, Queensland "Kathmandu DK", Classic Elite "Skye Tweed", Symphonie "Plassard" and others I can't remember. If you turn and face the front wall, it's mostly Patons and Ella Rae with some other brands tossed into the mix.

I didn't take a picture of the last room as she had customers in there and I didn't think they'd appreciate being photographed. That room is a little larger and is separated by a column. That's where the Farmhouse Yarns, Elsebeth Lavold "Hempathy", cotton yarns, sock yarns and who know what else is found. She doesn't have a lot in the way of books and needles, though. And the pictures show the place as fairly neat but it's definitely not. You are constantly stepping over things or picking up skeins to put back on the shelf. But she is a very nice person and she has wonderful taste in yarn! Just don't take too many people with you because it's very small and rather hard to navigate. I think I want to go back this coming Saturday with a couple of the women from my knitting group.

Now to my current knitting project. I found out last Sunday that there is a surprise baby shower for our pastor's wife on November 23rd. They are expecting their 4th son in December. Naturally, I want to knit something for her. And, since it's another boy, I can't use the Gull Lace sweater I have half done. So I pulled out a couple of unfinished baby sweaters that are appropriate for a boy and didn't like either of them. That's probably why they are still unfinished.

After considering a few patterns, I decided to make another "Moonlight Sleeper" from the April 1990 issue of Workbasket. I made one in October 2005 for a baby shower and really liked how it turned out. You can check my archives to see that one. This one is being made in James C. Brett "Marble" in the Patagonia colorway. I am knitting the front first so I am sure to match the shading. This picture was taken a couple of days ago. I now have 14" done the front. Once I get to 16", I can start the raglan decreases. There shouldn't be any problem getting it done on time as long as I don't get distracted. (Who, me, distracted? Never!)

And finally, here are a couple more pictures of our trip to Cape Cod as I had a request for more photos.

This first one is the whale watch boat going out of Barnstable Harbor. I'm standing in the yard of the house we rented.

And here are Ariane, her boyfriend, Mike, and Alek standing on the beach that is 50 yards from the house looking out at the harbor.

I can't tell you how much I'd like to be there right now.

(ETA: Click on pics to make bigger)