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Brother & Baby Hats

When my baby brother was about a year old, my mothers friend & neighbor knit my brother a ribbed knit pea cap that he LOVED. Really, he loved that hat & wore it everywhere, but when he was about 4 years old, the hat came up missing & I believe my brother has been devastated ever since.

I got the brilliant idea one day that I should knit my brother’s 9 month old son a hat that looked exactly like my brothers hat that he lost. So ever since the end of August, I’ve been searching for the perfect yarn. Of course I didn’t want it to be 100% acrylic like the original hat, but I did need something completely washable. I was able to find some washable wool, but I could never find it in the exact colors, but still I kept looking. Finally…. on December 9th, I spotted the perfect colors at a LYS & low & behold it was a wool blend that was washable! EUREKA!! I cast on immediately only to find that the hat seemed a bit too big, but I kept going. The entire time I just KNEW the hat was going to be too large but I just kept knitting it (of course). When I finally finished the hat I put it on DH’s head and it fit. OOPS! Thank goodness these were large skeins of yarn because I cast on for another hat in a smaller size. When all was said & done, I had two hats — one for my brother & one for his son.

Pattern: Ribbed Pea Cap (2×2 rib knit)
Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Encore
Needles: Clover Bamboo size 7 US (circular & dpns)
Notes: For my brothers hat I cast on 80 stitches & for my nephews hat I cast on 60 stitches. That kid has a HUGE head. I’ll probably be making another one of these for him for next year!

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First FO 2007

The Malabrigo Shifting Sands Scarf is complete and ready to keep me warm when I leave for Oregon today!

Pattern: Shifting Sands by Grumperina

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in Stonechat

Needles: KnitPicks Options size 7US

Notes: The yarn was a Christmas gift from ‘lil sis. It was two skeins of PURE HEAVEN. It’s the softest yarn I’ve knit with thus far & I’ll definitely purchase more in the future. The pattern was easy to memorize & I did the cables without using a cable needle. This is one of the more ingenious things I think I’ve learned & I highly recommend it. Once you get the hang of it … it’s so easy you’ll wonder why you ever used a cable needle!

For Christmas my mother decide to attempt to surprise me with an item I’ve been requesting for a year .. the FoodSaver. Unfortunately for her though, DH had also been listening to my requests as well & bought one for me as well for Christmas. My mother was truly disappointed, until I told her that I would also REALLY like an item that would help me out with my knitting.

Yesterday an extremely tall package was waiting for me delivered by Mr. Mailman. Upon opening it I uncovered the most beautiful thing … a new Glimakra swift. I located a vendor relatively close in distance to me that offered free priority shipping, so I ordered the swift on Tuesday and it arrived on Thursday in mint condition.

Belated Christmas gifts ROCK!

I’m catching a flight out of LAX to PDX in twelve hours to visit with family in Oregon. I’m intending on packing my laptop & getting in some blogging time, but you never know, so worse case scenario, I’ll be back in a week!

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What in the world possessed me to pick up a pair of size 2 circulars to knit a pair of socks? Wouldn’t you think that by my 11th pair, I’d realize that for my foot & with this type of sock yarn, I’d need size 1? The photo isn’t correct though, it should show you that there are TWO socks in that state, not just one. In order to never experience SSS, I have to knit my socks at the same time. It’s really a great thing until you mess up and then it’s a …. (BLEEP)!!!

By the way, the pattern is Monkey & the yarn is Cherry Blossom Fibers. So far, I love the yarn & I like the pattern. This is my first attempt at converting a pattern to toe-up & Judy’s Magic Cast On and her Tangled Up In Blue sock pattern are helping immensely!

The other day, I was looking at photos from the Soaring Eagles Project and she posted a link to Kate’s blog saying that she needed some hats. I clicked on the link & the post says that the Children’s Hospital has a ward of 10-16 year olds who are undergoing radiation and chemo for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who need some hats. Not just any hats though, they are specifically requesting fun fur hats. For whatever reason, when I first learned to knit in the winter of 2005, I knit these seven fun fur caps from a Lion Brand Chemo hat pattern & then put them away in a container & forgot about them. Reading Kate’s post reminded me of them & now they’ll be mailed off to some deserving kids. I can’t believe they want them, but I’m thrilled that they do!

As far as current knitting projects go, the Shifting Sands Scarf in the Malabrigo is complete, the Argosy Scarf is ready for blocking, the We Call Them Pirates Hat needs a lining, the Fake Isle Hat needs felting, the Spartan Pullover sweater needs re-blocking, and the Forbes Forest scarf is on hold until I figure out if I want to rip HALF of it back. Somehow I ended up switching needle sizes halfway through the project & since it’s taken painfully long to knit it, I really don’t want to re-knit it. Unfortunately the gauge change is quite noticeable, so I’m at a standstill for now.

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To My Baby Sister

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY SISTER!!

Is it wrong to publicly announce that you’re 30 today? Since there’s so many things I would like to give you for your birthday, and because I’m VERY undecided on which item is best, I’m giving you four choices:

Door #1: One-year subscription to Interweave Knits Magazine

Door #2: Gift Certificate for $20 to KnitPicks.com or YarnCountry.com

Door #3: One skein of Socks That Rock lightweight or mediumweight in your color choice

Door #4: Woodland Gloss Leaves Socks and Stitch Markers (still in process)

At Christmas I was going to leave the socks from door #4 at your home for you & then mail the stitch markers to you, but since the socks weren’t wrapped, I opted to take them home and mail everything at the same time. Unfortunately, the stitch markers have been giving me “issues”, so they didn’t get completed in time to get in the mail with the socks and like an idiot, I mailed nothing. Since they aren’t finished, and since I don’t know when they will be (because I’m stitch marker impaired), I was thinking you may just prefer magazines, or yummy sock yarn, or something like that. There may even be people who comment in the next few days leaving you suggestions on which door to select just in case you’re having a difficult time choosing.

I think you’ll find it no surprise that you were my favorite sibling growing up. I believe this is because you seemed to be always happy, very quiet, and extremely helpful. You really haven’t changed a bit! I love you with all of my heart & even though we’re more than 600 miles apart, I feel closer to you now than ever! Thanks for being my sister! Happy Birthday!

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Holiday Reflections

I’m back from my Christmas vacation & since DH’s Christmas wish was for me to stay away from the computer during vacation, I honored his request (obviously). So although Christmas vacation was great, I’m extremely behind in posting AND reading blogs, so bear with me.

Words cannot express how grateful I am to ‘lil sis for allowing DH & I to spend Christmas with her family in Utah. My 8-yr old neice gave up her bedroom & bathroom for us, my sister made FABULOUS food, and my brother-in-law even “enhanced” my phone for me!

Christmas day was filled with lots of goodies & presents, but the highlights (of course) were my knitting gifts. DH hooked me up with a few books I’ve been requesting as well as the KnitPicks Knitting Needle Case , Chart Keeper, and View Sizer.

My ‘lil sis really made my day though when she gave me my first ever skeins of Malabrigo worsted! The colorway is a variegated named Stonechat & I’m currently working on the Shifting Sands scarf pattern by Grumperina. The yarn has been a dream to knit with, and I can’t help touching it & admiring the color changes. The pattern is a 4 row repeat that is very simple to memorize, so it was perfect for knitting in the car on our vacation road trip.


The few days following Christmas were spent in Southern Idaho with my mom, dad, and middle sisters family. We only got to spend one day skiing, but great memories were made and thankfully there’s a ski resort near our home that we’ll hopefully be able to be at very soon!

It was nice to spend the holidays with my family on our road trip adventure from California to Nevada, Utah & Idaho, but I must admit I’m a bit relieved that the holidays are over & things can get back to normal … whatever “normal” is!

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LYS Redemption

This will probably be my last post before Christmas. I’m SOOO overwhelmed with all that’s left to do & we’re supposed to be leaving on the first leg of our Christmas journey right now!

Yesterday, I went to my LYS (the one I’ve bitched about that’s closest to my house), to purchase some SOAK wash. I thought I’d just run in, grab the SOAK & get out of there before any of their rudeness rubs off on me. As I walked into the store I was greeted with the most friendly voice at the counter. Hmmm… haven’t seen this woman here before. I said “hello” back to her & proceeded to the yarn section of the store (they also sell fabrics for quilters). I just KNEW the rest of the time I was going to be ignored & so I quickly scanned the area for the wash. I then also remembered that I wanted to purchase some Noro Silk Garden Lite for the Argosy scarf I’d seen on Knitty. I quickly located some Noro yarn & started looking through it when the friendly woman from the counter approached me & asked if she could help me. I glanced around … was I in the right store? Is this the Twilight Zone or is this an episode of Punk’d? I told her what I wanted/needed & she found one skein for me, but then recommended a different yarn that may work up just as nice.

The moment I saw the yarn & then fondled the yarn, I was in love!! She was being so helpful I started asking where the sock yarn was & where the SOAK was & on & on. I KNEW she must be a fellow knitter & upon further discussion I learned that the other 2 ladies that had been so rude to me during my previous two visits only had knowledge of the fabric/quilt section of the store. AHA!! It all makes sense now and at that moment I was glad I didn’t quilt because those ladies aren’t nice, but the knitting lady was a DREAM! So .. I’m not boycotting my LYS anymore. I’m not thrilled that they carry a large selection of Non-Consumer Friendly Yarn, but I don’t have to buy it.

On the left side of the photo are 2 skeins of Trendsetter Tonalita in colorway#2355 and the two skeins on the right are Rowan Tapestry colorway #172. I’m taking the Rowan with me on Christmas vacation so maybe I’ll have a completed Argosy scarf to show you when I return!

By the way, I think I forgot to mention that I won prizes from Knit Unto Others! For two weeks I got to knit some wonderful charity projects, but then .. I end up being one of the lucky few that won prizes! My prizes were from one of the Knit Unto Other co-hosts, Margene from Zeneedle. The silk/tapestry bag is by Lantern Moon & is the PERFECT color for me & will be excellent for carrying around a sock project. The ladybug tape measure is so adorable & definitely a much-needed item. If you’re reading this Margene, thanks again!

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Hell Hat & Happy Holiday

Thank you all for your input on the We Call Them Pirates hat, or what I like to call the “hell hat”. Although I find color stranding a cool new thing, it definitely sucks up a lot more yarn than I thought it would. In case you’re wondering, after reading all of your comments & whining a little bit to DH, I decided to frog the hat and go down a needle size.

  • The good news: Everything but the hat lining is complete and I had enough yarn (I even have about 2 yards left)
  • The bad news: It won’t fit my son-in-laws head, so I’ll be starting another one of these someday in the future for him.

Since I’m still knitting DH’s Christmas gift, I’ll probably take the hat with my on Christmas vacation & finish it then.

Today, I tried to work on Christmas cards. I realize I should have done this WEEKS ago, but … well, I have no excuse so I won’t even try to make one up. The only way I successfully get cards completed for any occassion, is because I use card kits from theCardCo. Without them, I probably wouldn’t ever get handmade cards completed. This snowman card is based on the design included in the kit, but I changed it to suit my own taste & needs.

Sunday we attended a holiday party at my step-daughters moms house. We were there about 8 hours just enjoying each others company, eating great food & opening presents. This was our first year spending Christmas all together (since none of us had reconciled until January of last year), and as I sat there in front of the tree watching people open presents, my heart told me that I was home. Even though I don’t have children of my own, my stepdaughter is only 9 years younger than me, and at 37 I have two grandchildren, I know in my heart that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

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