Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny and you should too!

No pictures of what I've been knitting this week, but I promise there has been fiber! 
I am reading:
~Forrest Born~ by Shannon Hale is book four of an awesome series
~20,000 Leagues Under the Sea~ by Jules Vern ..I just skimmed past the names of far too many shelled fish and mollusks that live in the sea and now we are to the boat ... so. very. bored. But, I will prevail
~The Knitting Stitch Bible~ by Maria Perry-Jones

which leads me to what I am knitting:
A Marriage of Two Mitten Patterns: iMitt and Convertible Men's Mitten
A Cowl/Scarf Thing using a stitch from the aforementioned Bible

That's it! How have you been doing?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Project Report

To Do:

  1. Finish sweater by adding buttons
  2. Finish hat by weaving in ends
  3. Stop knitting "scarf/cowl" mystery
  4. Cast on for gloves
  5. Finish gloves
  6. Cast on Flannel Hat for Stompers Christmas

Been a little crazy at work, but the kids will be in school soon so there will be more time for knitting!

I hope you all did better than me this past week!

Friday, August 24, 2012


::Compiling:: knowledge on pinterest on DIY projects for making t-shirts for Stomper for his second birthday (I can't believe it!)
::Wondering:: if anyone has an exacto knife and cutting board they aren't using that I can borrow
::Wishing:: the NY and AZ cousins lived in Maine

::Welcoming:: my sister back from her Vacation (finally!)

::Wondering:: where the gardening time went
::Enjoying:: the fruits of our labor

::Finishing:: a girlie knit for YOP
::Thinking:: I should revisit my Evelyn pattern and improve it
::Settling:: meat rabbits into their new home
::Dreaming:: of slow cooked, fall off the bone, yummy, delicious, rabbit meat.

::Finishing:: our Challenge at daycare

::Making:: a train city while the grass is still wet in the morning.

::Noticing:: a slight change of weather.
::Planning:: on canning some pickles this week-end
::Thanking:: an Auntie for taking Stomper over-night so we can focus on canning
::Eating:: pears even though they are just a bit hard

::Wondering:: what you have been up to or what you are planning....

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Cousins came for a visit over the week-end.
Why are week-ends so short?
They came on Sunday and left on Tuesday, this is what we did..

Tackled Stompers Papa and tickled him almost to death.

Snuggled by the fire.

Discovered the Dress-up Box.

Did Chores.

My Mom's Sister and My Mom's Sister's Daughter
Relaxed in the sun.

Played "Ticket to Ride".

Loved on the pets

Loved on each other.

Thought the world was going to end. When did this happen? All this texting?

The cousins live in NY, maybe you remember them from last year?
I wish that families could live a little closer, but I am glad for visits no matter how short.
Maybe, just maybe, we can go see them next year!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Project Report

Little Sister came home on Friday!! I wrapped the gauntlets up by putting them on my son and he walked out to her saying "Tee-Tee, see, nee-ning" (I will attempt to translate for you: "Auntie Teeny, see how awesome my Mom is she knitted these amazing gauntlets for you to enjoy.") She put them on and said they were nice and warm. Today she told me that she can wear them while drawing, which is a bonus in our chilly farm house.

I finished the first sock. I keep telling Jason that they are for his Dad, and he keeps not believing me. The socks are roomy on me and too long so they should fit a man just fine. My fingers need a break from tiny needles so I have moved on to some baby shower knitting, before I am invited to the shower.

Since my book "The Expectant Knitter" has gone MIA I had to find a new pattern for my "something girlie". I found Abagail Sweater when I searched: free, girl, sweater, baby, sport yarn on Rav. It knit up in a cinch. It still needs a few buttons. I worked on my crocheting skills by going around the outside edge and I didn't do too bad. I even chained a few (I think that's the correct term) to make a loop for a button. I think I have some buttons around, but I'm not sure if I should do something subtle that will match a lot of outfits or not. Thoughts? Last night I started a hat to match the lace pattern (pattern found here). All this sweater knitting has made me think about my own sweater pattern that I've been working on. I have one up for free, but I don't love it. I think after Christmas I will be re-visiting it and to make sure that I do I am adding it to my list.

Last night while I was contemplating knitting a hat to match the sweater I cast on a swatch to knit my son a hat for Christmas. The pattern is my own. It needs to be officially test knit so I am revisiting it to get the yarn yardage right and to knit it with quality yarn to see if anything changes with the sizing. I haven't done much color-work in awhile which is evident by the puckering in this swatch. After I knit one for him I will knit one for me using Cascade 220, which I am told most knitters use. I have only recently stepped out of acrylic and cotton to try wool and other wool blends. It is definitely different, but I am not sure which I prefer. I think they both have their places and uses.

Thank you so much everyone for your feed back about sock knitting needles. I think I will go to my LYS and buy whatever is on their shelf for metal. I saw some square ones which intrigue me so that is what I probably will get. The bamboo ones did seem to work a little better towards the end of the sock. Maybe the silk sapped the oils out but the wool and aloe in the socks put it back in? Not sure.

Once I finish the baby hat I will be starting the mittens for my teacher. I'm not going to post photos until after I have sent it to her, just in case she stumbles across my blog.

Happy Knitting, and Thanks for the Encouragement!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2nd Annual Harvest Party

am not a jelly maker. I pickle things and make relish, I mash things up to make sauce, I may even blanch a few things to freeze, but I don't make jelly. The reason, I'd rather eat a strawberry than turn it into jam or jelly. Oh, I like jelly, I eat toast with jelly and pb&j all the time, but I don't like making it. Other people like making it and I have eaten the fruit of their labors many a time.

With jelly in mind and gallons of tomato relish at my side I ran across a blog that mentioned a jelly swap. Wouldn't it be nice, I thought, to swap some relish for jelly? I posted an inquiry on fb and asked family and friends if they'd be interested. They were and a date for the First Annual Harvest Party was set. I was so excited, I felt confident that someone would bring jelly.

The day of the party my mother and I rearranged furniture, set out some mums, got the voting jars ready, and cleared of the kitchen island in preparation of pot luck goodies. My excitement mounted, I'd have home made jelly to bring home, I just knew it! The four families arrived (my parents and us made a total of six families) and the preserved goods were set out and displayed.

No jelly. Not one family in six brought any. I think, perhaps, because people gaurd their homemade jelly and ration it out. Or maybe use it at Christmas gifts. Though I did not go home with jelly I did bring home: Kosher Dill Pickles, Tomato Soup, Apple Sauce, Apple Butter, Pickled Beets, and Pear Butter.

We spent the afternoon tasting, voting, and then eating supper. We went home with our loot and were happy to add the new items to our cupboards.

This year we are having another party. I am still hoping for jelly. Jelly and some homemade baked goods. This years party will be on Oct 6th at 4pm at the Hamberg Family Farm. I am hoping that eight families will join us this year.

If you would like to participate, drop me an email or contact me on fb.

Here are the rules!

  1. Whatever you share needs to be packaged and ready to be tossed back into the freezer or put on the shelf.
  2. Bring 11 of each item you wish to swap with (10 jars of jam, 10 gallon bags of pears) PLUS one to open for tasting --if you item is frozen please prepare a thawed batch for tasting
  3. If your item is unique or not usually preserved (I am thinking of my Mom's frozen pears) please type or neatly write a recipie on how to use it
  4. Label your items with your name, what the item is, and what month and year it was preserved
  5. And this one is obvious --preserve with care we don't want anyone sick!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Project Report

I feel a little lost since finishing the gauntlets. Yes, you read that, finished. It feels so funny having that weight lifted off my shoulders, that "Big Project" gone. I think I will start on my shawlette (maybe this one?) as soon as I can work some new yarn into the budget.

[There is a full post with a back story and visuals HERE! If she ever comes back from vacation (feels like she's been gone for a year) I will take a picture of her wearing them. Until then, here is a picture of me wearing the newest one.]

In the mean time I have started a pair of socks! I am using Susan B Anderson's pattern found on her blog and ravelry. I am using size 2dpn's so it will be a little wider and because I am too cheap to go out and by size 1's at the moment. I do feel a pair of size 1's in my future as sock knitting seems a lot less harder than the first few times. 

My first pair of socks I knit were giant sized. Hubby uses them still. I knit them out of acrylic with the needles I owned. Those first pair were knit before I understood the importance of gauge. They are loose around the top and about an inch too long. He wears them during hunting season over his socks. I will say this about them, when they stay on, they are cozy.

The pair I am making is not the pair he wants, so I will be knitting a second pair. He wants a pair of wool ones to wear hunting. In fact I may end up giving the socks I am making to my FIL as he is always bugging me for a pair. 

I am further along than in the photo. I am nearing the toe and I'm looking forward to starting the second one! They are going faster than I thought they would with such small yarn. I have never worked with sock yarn, it is not as bad as I feared. 

I am using bamboo needles, the same I used for the gauntlets, but the yarn is not sliding well. I looked it up on the 'net and I learned that using the needles oils them. I just finished using them, they ought to be nice and oiled, so why don't the slide? I read further that bamboo doesn't slide well, but sticks, and to use wax paper to smooth them. I did that too and it helped. I also learned that bamboo is susceptible to weather changes like humidity, such as we are having now. All this leads me to conclude that maybe bamboo isn't for me and knitting socks. Which then leads me to a question: Do you have a favorite sock dpn? I am in the market for a pair apparently.

The yarn for my photography teachers mittens have arrived. I'm not sure what to knit. I feel a bit of a conundrum. (check out my pinterest board to see my examples). She wants a mitten that will be warm in the winter (we live in Western Maine), but one that will also allow her to take photos. She first asked for this one (the iMitt), which I purchased, but then she thought that maybe she'd like to have all her fingers available. Then she requested the ability to use her thumbs. Here is my issue: the thumb flap always seems awkward to me, and the flip over for the fingers doesn't seem like it will stay put. What if she wants to throw a snowball at her kids, but the mitten flap won't stay put and her fingers get cold? do you have any ideas or assurances? Anyone have any experience with any mittens with the flap?

I updated the list to reflect my current finishes

Six ornaments for Stompers Advent Calendar:

  1. Christmas Sweater done!
  2. Christmas Stocking
  3. Candy Cane
  4. Christmas Bell
  5. Tinsel
  6. Christmas Ball

Something from the book The Expectant Knitter

Finish a bear I started from the Nursery Baby Doll pattern done!

A pair of socks for the hubby that will actually fit him - started

Something Girlie -- possibly something out of The Expectant Knitter

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Embrace the Camera: Sick Day

I recently saw this woman's blog who decided that she be intentional about taking photos of her with her children. She didn't want them to look back at photos when they were grown and not see her with them. With that in mind I am going to try and take photos of Stomper and I together, even if they aren't amazing. I am going to try at least once a month to join her in "Embrace the Camera".

“Sick Day”

Tuesday night you were up from 9pm-1130pm fussing and crying. Papa tried snuggling with you in bed, but you didn't lay still. At 10 o'clock I took you downstairs to read for twenty minutes because you were so worked up. You snuggled with me in bed for about an hour before I laid you down in your own bed. All night you fussed off and on, and I worried that your tummy hurt from constipation.

On Wednesday morning you woke up late. We ate breakfast together and you put your breakfast in your curls. I looked at you with cheerios in you hair and I said, “That's it, I'm cutting it.” I buzzed all your curls off for the second time. I wondered as the curls fell to the floor if you'd always have curls, or if you would grow out of them.

I dressed you and let you outside where Grand-Ma-Ma and the daycare kids were playing. I took my shower, started the crock pot, and then went out to play with you.

As I opened the door Grand-Ma-Ma called out to me, “He has spots on his feet and hands.”

"Oh, no." I scooped you up and brought you inside to look you over. You had spots on your hands, feet, legs, and on your chin. "Looks like Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease."

Grand-Ma-Ma and I looked it up on the computer and confirmed our suspicions. You had HFMD, but you'd be fine in a few days. I gave you a Popsicle to cool down your hands and mouth and put you in front of your favorite TV show "Fresh Beat Band".

We spent the morning snuggling, watching TV, drinking Ovaltine, and reading books. After lunch you took a four hour nap and when you woke up you were feeling much better. You were more like yourself, even wrestling with me, and being your goofy self.

I am not happy that you were sick, but I am thankful that I was able to be with you all day long.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Gauntlets


It is a state that brings such joy to my heart.

It all started in 2009. I knew I wanted to make something amazing for my teenage sister. Something that she would use and cherish. I browsed through ravelry for hours looking for the right thing for her. I knew her likes: dragons, knights, archers, brave princesses, horses, and adventure. In my trolling I found the most amazing piece of knitting I had ever come across. A pair of gloves fashioned after armor. Perfect! 

But there was a problem. I knew that the gloves were beyond my skills. I had only been knitting a few years and I just knew that I couldn't make them. I added them to my favorites and every once and awhile I'd look at them and dream. I showed the pattern to my sister and she immediately fell in love. I told her, "Not yet. I'm not good enough yet." I made her a pair of fingerless gloves to get her by, but they weren't the right pair.

A year later, at Christmastime, I bought the pattern and presented her with a promise. "I will buy the yarn in March for your birthday and then I will start them." My ravelry notebook claims that I cast on sometime in May of 2011, my baby was eight months old and in the middle of his sprint to teethe twenty teeth  as fast as he could (twenty teeth in eight months!), and so not much work was done on the gloves. 

I labored over the gloves, ripping out when necessary, crying into my coffee, wishing I hadn't promised the dreadful things to my baby sister. I begged my boy to play so that Mommy could concentrate, and concentrated I had to. Every row on the top of the gauntlet is different. For the first thirty rows I couldn't "see" what was going on. I didn't understand what the designer was trying to do, but as I knit across a "relief row" thirty rows in I began to see what the plan was. I settled into the rhythm of the gloves and was finally able to predict where the next increase and decrease would follow. They still demanded all my attention, but I could pick them up and set them down after only a few rows.

I finished the first glove mid January 2012 eight months after starting them and the second took six and a half  months for a total of 15 months to complete the pair.

People have often asked if the construction is difficult. The answer is no. The pattern isn't difficult either, it can be a bit confusing and could benefit with the addition of a chart, but the stitches themselves are not difficult. The difficulty is in the fact that every row on the top is different. Every row, with a few exceptions. Every row you have to stop, look, think, and then knit. They are slow gloves, thoughtful gloves, not to be trifled with gloves.

I will not be knitting these gloves again.

My sister will be returning from her summer with our cousin on the 18th. I look forward to presenting her with her very own gauntlets.

To trace my journey check out these posts:
Tested the Stitches
Almost Done the First Glove
The Second Glove Started


  • YarnLouisa Harding Grace Silk & Wool (discontinued)
  • Pattern: Gillaspie Gothic Gauntlets
  • Mods: Shorter thumb to accommodate Little Sisters small hands
  • Difficulty: Intermediate with good pattern reading skills
  • Construction: Shape is achieved with k2tog and p2tog, the most difficult stitch is passing a knitted stitch over two stitches. 
  • Why I Won't Knit it Again: It takes too much concentration, but it pays off.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blueberry Festival

Every year our hometown puts on a festival called "The Blueberry Festival" it starts on Friday with lots of blueberry themed foods, historical things, kids fun day, yard sales, food, and kids fun day. It ends with a bang with fireworks on the lake. We always have a good time and invite plenty of friends and family to enjoy it with us. I have far too many photos to share with you, so this is the short version.

Friday Night Jason fried a turkey and one of the chickens we raised for supper. No outdoor meal is complete with out S'mores so we had a few.

Saturday we went to the parade with the rest of the town. Our buddy who is three weeks older than Stomper came and walked around with us.

Saturday Night, after a long nap, we went to the park to watch the fireworks. When reading in the shade wasn't enough to keep us cool I took the poor little guy to the lake. Papa stood on shore and took photos.

I had fun all week-end playing with a slow shutter speed. And everyone obliged by doing cool things in the dark.

I am making a facebook album available if you want to look at more week-end photos.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Project Report

I am so close that I can taste it! About ten or so rows left before I'm finished with the glove and then eight short rows of the thumb and it's done! After that I will wash it, wrap it, and put it on her bed so that it's there waiting for her when she gets home (in about a week). 

I probably won't have anything to report next week. I bought some new yarn to make a pair of mittens for my photography teacher as a thank-you gift. 

Popular Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...