Monday, November 30, 2009


Here comes POST NUMBER FIVE for November! Blogging with regularity, it turns out, is all about setting goals and following through, just like anything else... Though I feel slightly guilty for not finishing at least this hat. I got sucked into a book series this weekend. Twilight, while no Harry Potter series, certainly has its page-turner moments...

Back to the knitting... This is Jared Flood's "Quincy" which, I am finding out belatedly, should probably not be knit in a variegated colorway. I am having a difficult time deciding if I should follow through on his directions, thus putting the not very subtle seam front and center for all to see. Or if I should semi-hide the seam in the cool fold that is my favorite part of this hat. And then there is the matter of possibly running out of yarn for the top. I bought the yarn in Banff last summer and have not seen this brand in any local stores... I guess I'll have to post again soon!

Till then, Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Knitting Nancy, Knitting Nephew

My Knitting Nancy resurfaced a few weeks ago, innocently smiling up at me out of a crafting drawer.

So this Thanksgiving when Nephew #1, age 7, wanted to help me knit, I knew exactly what he could do. He needed a little bit of assistance first, but quickly gained confidence.

By the time it was bedtime, he had figured out how to handle the whole thing by himself! We had lots of giggles and anticipatory moments trying to guess when the knitting would come out and when the colors would change. It was really fun to see what a good time he was having!

Hope your Thanksgiving was great too!
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New beginnings

As seen in several previous posts, Auntie E has been indulging herself recently. With a new nephew, new niece, and another new nephew due December 18th, it's time to fire up the needles with some more child-friendly knits. And there are a few adults who have been neglected who need some attention this holiday season too.

Details coming soon...

Happy Holiday Knitting!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shalom Cardigan

This sweater marks the official end of summer, or rather, my summer knitting. I started this sweater on my way to Calgary, Alberta, in July when I was anticipating an amazing hiking trip in Banff, Yoho, and Jasper National Parks. I finished it just in time for the chilly weather to set in and have worn this sweater as often as possible so far!

The Details:
Pattern: Shalom Cardigan by Meghan McFarlane (FREE at
Size: small
Yarn: Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds - 5 balls (4 were just right, but I made some modifications that required additional yarn)
Colorway: Dark Grey Welsh
Needles: Size 7mm Crystal Palace Bamboo
Started: July 25, 2009
Finished: October 17, 2009
Notes: I stole several hours on October 17th to finish the cardigan thanks to a dress rehearsal that got out extremely early. It was either knit or go home and paint walls... tough decision...

Modifications: I used similar modifications like Ishi on Ravelry (, adding two additional buttons down the front...

...and also adding some short sleeves.

It took me a while to get used to knitting this yarn. The yarn was a little hard on the hands and scratchy. Its redeeming qualties include a delightful "sheepy" smell and a natural look that cannot be beat. I was quickly won over by the overwhelming warmth and comfort of the finished fabric. I'm glad I decided not to make it with long sleeves.

These fine friends also enjoy hanging out and snacking on the fire bush that I am standing in front of.

Can't wait to put up a fence around my garden next year... HUMFFFF!

Happy Fall and Happy Knitting!
(PS - Post #2 for November!!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey Teach! It's NOVEMBER!

In honor of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), I am trying to see how many days I can post about new knitting this month. I did not sign up on the NaBloPoMo website because I am tired of being responsible for yet another social networking site membership. However, the idea behind NaBloPoMo is to blog 30 days in a row to form a habit that one will continue. I don't have time to knit that much this month, so I will probably not change my sparse blogging habits too much... I will set my goal for five posts!

Fortunately, there are some finished objects saved up. And yes, you guessed it, my "Hey Teach" sweater was finished a few weeks ago, just as the weather turned cold - and two months after school started. Well, it will be nice new item to wear this coming spring.

Pattern: Hey Teach! by Helene Rush from Knitty Summer 2008 (
Yarn: Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo in colorway Rosewood - 5 balls
Needles: Size 6 for stockinette, size 7 for the lace
Started: May 23, 2009
Finished: October 3, 2009

I did not really like this yarn. After this experience, I think I might consider myself a strictly wool knitter. It was hard on my hands and the finished product grew and faded some. I hope it does not continue growing... The yarn is very soft though, which is its redeeming quality against the skin.

The final fit is perfect though. I had to knit my yarn on smaller needles to make it look nice and was fudging numbers in the pattern left and right. The sleeves were the diciest but aside from a little tightness at the seams, they worked out well. I had to knit them longer to fit into the longer armholes that I had made. Cute buttons found at JoAnn Fabrics.

All in all, I would recommend this pattern, but not the yarn, unless you truly love working with cotton and bamboo...

Till SOON (I hope!) - Happy Knitting till then!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have had a lot of things to do lately. Primarily, there was LOTS of packing, cleaning, painting, remodeling, and moving on the agenda. On top of those activities there were concerts to perform on the viola, Fall festivals and concerts to present with my Orchestra students at school, and a student teacher to supervise. Now I am ready to do a little relaxing and resume my favorite hobby, just in time for making all of those holiday gifts! But let me share a few pictures from "before, during, and after."

Looking into the living room from the front entrance:
BEFORE (boring...)

DURING (good riddance to that carpet / hello wheat grass color on the wall)

ALL MOVED IN! (wood floors and furniture in place. Where are my pictures?!)

Looking into the dining area from the living room:
BEFORE (How unattractive is off-white EVERYTHING?!)

DURING (New chandelier, color, flooring ready to be laid.)

AFTER (Dinner anyone?)

The view down a very long driveway. Many leaves have fallen since this picture was taken.

Some morning frost on the marigolds.

Of course I must confess to stealing a few moments to finish up with the summer knitting...

More on those soon! Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Once upon a time, there was a woman who unwound more yarn than she could knit... almost... (that would be me!)

Presenting: Fiddlesticks Knitting - Peacock Feathers Shawl

Pattern: Peacock Feathers Shawl available from
Needles: Size 4, 32" circular Addi Turbo lace
Yarn: Exquisite, 50% mulberry silk, 50% merino wool - 2 balls
Start date: March 28, 2009
Finish date: August 29, 2009

As I look at these pictures, I am astounded that I created this... I thought I would not be able to stop writing. I am finding that the shawl speaks for itself, and my story (and long list of hardships and complaints) is less important than its finished existence.

A few hundred hours, thousands of stitches.

This project was a true test of paying attention. Every lace row needed careful controlling. The right, focused, state of mind was helpful to accomplishing a flawless row. And then I re-checked the lace pattern to make sure I didn't miss any stitches. My day dreaming needed constant reigning in. Very interesting...

And the reason for the season: a young peacock or two, favorite pets.

(A few more months of maturing needed before the full plumage and tail feathers grow in.)

... or many peacocks! (Six, total, currently live here on K & L's farm.)

And a peacock themed wedding on my brother's farm! This is my newest sister-in-law modeling the loot on her wedding day this past weekend! (Click on picture to enlarge to see stitch pattern)

Congrats to K and L for tying the knot. Here's to many happy years together on your lovely farm!


This past weekend was my middle brother's wedding on his farm in the (nearly) completed new house. Since he and his wife were hosting the WHOLE thing, my family had to put our heads together to add a little special something to the rehearsal dinner.

As a wedding present for the bride, I made the Fiddlesticks Knitting Peacock Shawl to enhance the peacock themed wedding. It was presented to the bride as a family welcome gift. Plus, she may have wanted to use it for her wedding the next day. It turned out to be HOT, though there were some nice pictures taken at the wedding photo session.

Next up, was a presentation of the Groom's Cake... inspired by his favorite stuffed animal - a baby boar piglet.

Unfortunately I did not get a picture of it fully decorated with Godiva truffles and marzipan fruits before everyone started snacking on them... The glaze frosting was also a little worse for the wear after the car ride to Ohio. Oh well!

The groom's cake was followed by a scavenger hunt around the farm (idea compliments of my other brother, J).

You see, this farm is on McDonald Road. And Old McDonald has live horses, cows, dogs, cats, chickens, and peacocks, BUT NO PIGS on this farm. We had to remedy this situation....

Pig on a Pan

Pig Spout Snout (watering can)

If Pigs Could Fly...

Pig on a Pot (hidden in the outhouse that you see in background!!)

Back side of Pig on a Pot


Pretty Primping Pigs (originally placed in front of a mirror)

Pigs in a Pen (originally placed near the pens in the barn)

Most A-DOOR-able pig door stop (with a very cute nephew...)

Basil Roasted Pig

Pig Pics on a Post (Pictures in magnetic frames were originally placed on a post supporting the deck)

Pig ornament

Sunday morning reading and relaxing

Painted Prize Pigs

More Pig Prizes - My father cut out these little pigs on a band saw, both parents sanded them off, and an artist neighbor applied the paint. (She also painted the pig "on the pot" and vase of "pretty primping pig.") All scavenger hunt participants received a prize pig as a reward for participating. The whole affair happened in the dark by flashlight... a little sketchy on a farm full of potholes and manure.

A ton of fun was had by all! And Old McDonald can now sing the pig verse on his farm! There he is with his piggy garden ornaments!


Post Script: I know this is a knitting blog, but I didn't find a knit pig pattern until three days before the wedding. Clearly, a miscalculation in planning; that pig was not going to be made in time. Maybe for Christmas!