Friday, May 31, 2024


 (Frantically looks for calendar to confirm it is still May.).  Whew.  Second post for May.  Still looking good.  Life is busy and the days flow past, quickly.  I do not know where all my time goes, but it has slipped past.

Remember the fire truck blanket I made for my grandson in Arizona?  Upon completion, I realized that I had made something for the eldest grandson, several items for the granddaughter, and the blanket for the Arizona grandson.  The little guy in Virginia had been overlooked.  This would not do.  When the Virginia crew was up visiting the store, I asked the little guy to pick a yarn.  When I cleared my needles, I called him and we decided what he would like in a sweater.  This is the result!

I used two skeins of James Brett Fairground and 4.0mm needles.  The pattern was a basic crew neck pullover with raglan sleeves.  The young man and I had decided that there should be a pocket, so I figured out how to do that.  (I counted in some stitches sadly I do not remember how many, and then did a knit front and back until I had the same number of stitches left before the end.  Half of the stitches went onto a stitch holder while I knit the body.  Then I went back and knit up the pocket, working 4 stitches at each edge in garter stitch and making decreases to shape the pocket.  When the pocket was as tall as the body, I joined the pocket and body by knitting the two layers together.  Easy peasy!) He has seen a photo of the sweater, and seemed pleased.  I will get it to him this fall, when the nights are getting cooler.

We also took the Victoria Day weekend and traveled to Virginia.  Both grandsons have been playing flag football and I very much wanted to see them in action.  Saturday was cool and wet, but both teams played — and won their games!  The little guy turns out to be a pretty solid quarterback!

Because I “needed”a store project, I cast around and decided that we needed a sample knit in Noro Viola.  It was the perfect  weight wool for the Sommerknus. I had been wanting to knit that design for two years … Now was the time!  I did a gauge swatch, and then ignored the result and cast on.  About 30 rows later, after a discussion about gauge during a Wednesday Sit & Stitch, I checked and sure enough.  I was off.  Way off.  Frogged and restarted, on May 22.  Others at the table were a bit distraught, but I promise I was philosophical about the whole thing.  i only had myself to blame.  In any event — progress to date!

In other news, I have been steadily knitting my quota of socks for *THAT* holiday.  Pair number 6 is finished, and it isn’t even June yet!   These are Gedifra cotton, knit from the top down.

Finally, my little granddaughter will be SIX MONTHS OLD tomorrow. She is such a total sweetheart.  Her uncle and family (from Arizona) will be visiting soon to meet her — which also means that I will have the opportunity to squeeze my son, daughter-in-law and grandson again!  Whee!

I hope you all are having a good spring and early summer.  Cheers!

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Happy Mother’s Day!

 And what a beautiful day it is.  The weather is very steadily improving, and there is SO MUCH GREEN outside.  We can proceed with dock installation, followed by boat lifts and boats.  I am so very excited for all these things.

I have actually gotten caught up on my sock knitting for 2024.  I finished these two pair —

Sorry the picture isn’t great.  This is partly an effort to maintain some element of surprise for the recipients.  The pair on the left are Koigu, with a cast on of 68 stitches.  The other is a combination of Wisdom Yarns Pace for rib, heel and toes and some Noro for the body.  Deep stash projects, both.  

Barb had been doing some stash reorganization and discovered a skein of Noro something or other, which had mohair.  No idea how or why it was in her stash as she is allergic to mohair.  So she handed it to me with a request to “do something!” I obliged. 

This is a basic beanie, with the addition of Lion Brand Fun Fur for the ribbing portion.  All in all, I thought it was a nice use of wool.  Enough to make the hat, too little left over to save.

I have gotten the urge to clean and tidy of late.  I started in the bedroom, and have made great headway.  A corner that was filled with boxes, gift bags and tissue paper is now vacuumed, dusted and clear.  I moved around the corner and worked on my reading pile.  Also dusted, vacuumed and tidied. 

And now the embarrassing part … I tackled the yarn hoard.  I did find some yarns to donate to a local charity; I decided that my collection of straight and double point needles need not remain in my possession.  I even found some balls of yarn that were ridiculously small and should never have been saved. Which leaves me with this —

Oh my word, stars and garters.  I suppose you would not be surprised to read that I am heading back into the fray to find storage for these beauties.  

There is some good news out of all this — My daughter had brought an assortment of socks and a scarf to me in hopes of having them mended.  I have found them, and now have a good understanding of how to make the repairs.  She WILL see them again!


Monday, April 08, 2024


 Today is a day absolutely chock full of sighs.  Possibly a typical Monday, for all I know.  

I had such high hopes to get a second blog post in March.  Can someone tell me why February, demonstrably the SHORTEST month in the calendar, seems to d-r-a-g on forever?  Followed by March, one of the longest months, which just whizzes by as if it on speed??  Sigh.

Sitting at breakfast this morning, I discovered one of my earrings is gone.  One of my silver sea gull earrings made by my friends from Kensington Silver Studio.  Gone.  Missing.  Not in the bed.  Not on the floor near the bed.  Not wrapped up in the clothing I discarded last night before bed.  Since Kensington Silver Studio is now closed, owners retired and equipment sold, there is no way I am going to get this replaced.  Sigh.

The morning was bright and sunny — unusual for a day in Ontario when something big is happening in the skies overhead.  At the appointed hour, I took a colander, my knitting, and my cell phone outside to observe and hopefully record the eclipse.  Cue the incoming clouds.  And they were solid clouds.  Sigh.

I went inside.  I must say that the experience was more strange than I expected.  It was dark — very dark.  The street light came on.  A passing automobile had its full headlight system on.  And it stayed dark for a far longer period than I thought it would.  After the world got brighter … you guessed it!  The clouds parted.  Sigh.

My knitting of late has been fraught with mis-steps.  The firetruck blanket was well received, but the young man had moved on to being enamoured with all things Star Wars.  The parental units were very impressed tho, so I will accept that as a win.  But still … Sigh.

I have a client who brought me a half finished sweater with an appropriately sad story.  Her sister had suddenly lost her eyesight and could not finish it.  It was sent to my client, who shied away from the colourwork.  I quoted a price, she agreed, and I was charged with finishing. 

The body was complete up to the yoke.  The sleeves were mostly finished.  So I knitted and then joined everything to work the yoke.  I was halfway up the colourwork chart when I realized that I would be short in the main colour.  I consulted with the client, who was good with an “almost” colour match.  (After all, her sister would not be able to see the mismatch!!!  I am still laughng at this statement.)

I brought home a ball of pink … and contemplated and stewed.  I called my client again, who told me she was good with whatever I chose to do.  I consulted Barb with my dilemma.  We agreed that the best solution was to bring in one more colour … and I finished up the sweater lickety-split.  Just goes to show that when the colours are right, I feel an absolute compulsion to knit.

I am SO happy with this project.  It is a combination of Sirdar Snuggly DK, Patons Astra and Ella Rae Cozy Soft.  That lovely lavender just makes it fabulous, rather than very pretty.  

Another finished object is the Bumble Sweater from Tin Can Knits.  We had gotten a new colour of Noro Viola at the store, and I “needed” to showcase it.  Barb, of course, fell into that rabbit hole as well and selected colours to make sweaters for her new little grandchildren.  Being at the shop full time gave me plenty of time to work on this little baby.  I DID a gauge swatch, achieved gauge, and started knitting.

Four inches into the pattern, I thought to myself “That looks big.”  Instead of the usual knitterly thing of continuing to knit (DeNile isn’t just a river in Egypt!) I measured.  Sure enough.  Instead of gauge, I was off by 1.5 stitches to 10 cm.  I ripped back to the ribbing, and started again with a 6.0mm needle.  

And it fits!  Perhaps a wee bit more closely than planned, but it is way comfortable and cozy.  I wore it all day after this photo, unblocked and everything!

I really like this little style detail —

You don’t see it clearly when I wear it, but it is there.  Absolutely delightful.  This is a slip stitch pattern, in two colours.  I would rate it as suitable for a confident knitter.  

Details of the project — Two balls of James C. Brett Croftland (the white) and one ball of the expensive and beautiful Noro Viola.  I used a 6.0mm needle for the body and 4.0mm for the ribbing.  Did I mention that it fits?  And the sleeves are perfect.  Sigh.  

So I mentioned something about Barb’s new grandchildren.  It is only fair to fill in the blanks.  Baby Girl and Baby Boy were delivered via c-section on the Wednesday before Easter.  Baby Girl spent time in the NICU, but Baby Boy was able to room in with Mama.  They are all home now, and gaining weight as they should.  Barb is assisting with the transition to motherhood, and (woe is her) snuggling babies. Sigh.

My little granddaughter is now 4 months old and doing well. She is able to hold her head up so that a front-facing chest carrier is comfortable for one and all.  Consequently, she is getting lots of outside walks with her mama and papa.  I saw the family at Easter, and my heart is full.  Sigh.

Here's hoping that the rest of April passes a wee bit more slowly than March. 

Monday, March 04, 2024

A few things.

 The blanket for my grandson in Arizona is on its way.  A friend is taking it to Pennsylvania, and will mail it from there.  FedEx was going to be $146 plus taxes.  Yowza!  I am very excited to see the package opening!

In other news, I was working on my February socks — the Reveurse from Operation Sock Drawer.  If you define “working” as looking at the project bag and picking something else up, that is.  I had gotten almost to the heel of the first sock … the realization that I was not enjoying the project made me stop and think.  Then I frogged the entire sock.  I immediately cast on for a vanilla sock, and reluctantly stopped knitting at 10:30pm and 52 stitches.  Far more fun!

This was the second project from the book.  Both patterns had errata.  I am now a bit concerned about the remaining patterns being correct as published.  To be fair, the corrections were easy to find via Ravelry.  Even so, I do not have warm fuzzy feelings about the remaining patterns being accurate.

In store knitting, I had finished a little cotton sweater (Catriona Pullover from Ella Rae).  I had not gotten gauge and figured  a wee munchkin would grow into it.  A dispassionate review of the sweater made me realize that it would only fit Humpty Dumpty.  

Much to the dismay of the Wednesday afternoon group, frogging occurred.  A gauge swatch occurred.  I had to drop to a 3.0mm needle (from 3.75m) to get gauge.  I have now restarted.

The store is hosting a KAL of the Bumble Sweater from Tin Can Knits.  I even did a gauge swatch before starting that!

My Thunder Snow continues.  I have started Clue 5 and am still loving it.  I usually do two or four rows an evening, in the solitude of my bedroom.  Then back to simple stocking stitch, or some other equally non-challenging pattern. 

I am currently reading The Algebraist by Iain Banks.  Heavy science fiction but still an interesting read.  

Since it is a beautiful sunny day, I am now heading out for a walk.  See you soon!

Monday, February 19, 2024

Perseverance Pays!

 With all those projects demanding my attention, I vowed to buckle down and get a couple of them crossed off my list.  I knit elbow patches with a 2.0mm needle and 2-ply reinforcing thread and applied them to a sweater.  I had been pretty nervous about this project as the sweater is fairly formal.  Surprisingly, or maybe not, once sewn on the patches are nearly invisible.  If you do not know they are there, you would miss them completely.  Whew.  One project crossed off!  (No picture as it is not my sweater to share.  Sorry.)

After my fling with the Stargazer, I buckled down to work on the firetruck blanket.  I am so happy to be able to say it is done!  

The shape is not exactly what I envisioned, being way wider than tall.  Upon reflection, however, it is perfect for a youngster and parental figure to snuggle under.  

The yarns used are a combination of Snuggly Sirdar DK and Ella Rae Cozy Soft.  I used a 4.5mm needle as I wanted more drape than a sweater would have.  Turns out that while I CAN handle intarsia it is not my favourite technique.  I don’t think I knit bad words into the blanket, but it may have been close. 

The border was picked up and knitted after the strips were finished.  In part, I wanted to add size to the blanket.  I also wanted to use up as much yarn as possible.  When I was close to the end of the border, I was feeling remorse about the black stripe.  Was there enough remorse to inspire me to rip back?  Eh, not so much.  While pondering this dilemma, a friend suggested alternating red and black for the i-cord bind-off.  Brilliant! Tied everything together nicely.  I had to switch to a 5.0mm needle though to prevent the i-cord being too tight.  The blanket will soon be on its way to surprise the little man in Arizona.  I can’t wait!

For those counting (and I am), that is two projects off my list!

I needed another project to work on at the store.  Coincidentally, we need a sample in the Ella Rae Eco Cotton and Hand Paints.  The Catriona Pullover looked delightful, and so I started!

This is the back (plain) and front.  The front is almost half-finished already! I am using the numbers for the 2-year size and the recommended 3.75mm needle.  Because the ultimate recipient is still growing (and is currently 2 months old, I did not bother with a gauge swatch.  Good thing that it doesn’t need to fit anyone instantly as I am not getting gauge.  I suspect a 3.5mm needle would have been better.  

Still on needles are a pair of socks and the Thunder Snow shawl.  I am just starting part 5 of the shawl, so progress is being made.  It is as beautiful as I remember.  The socks are Reveurs by Cheryl Eaton, from the Operation Sock Drawer book.  So far, I have used two patterns from the book.  Both had errata.  I hope this is coincidence.

Anyway, I hope you are having a delightful Family Day weekend!

Wednesday, February 07, 2024


 This has been a very strange winter.  So very little snow, and what there is has been ruined by freezing rain.  I really miss my x-c ski outings, even though I was not any good.  I will say, however, that there is one nice thing about the mild winter.  Monday afternoon, we met up with some friends amd had a nice little fire down by the lake, enjoyed some nibblies, drank some wine and watched the sun go down.  We did walk to their house and home again so at least we had some exercise. 

I finished the Soft As A Cloud cowl from Purl Soho.  I used two skeins of Juniper Moon Farms Stargazer in a lovely deep green.  There is a four stitch column of twist stitches, and a three stitch column of fake cables.  All very easy to do, but a bit hard on the wrists and elbows.  I didn’t think I was THAT tight of a knitter, but apparently I could stand to loosen up a bit.

The colour is deeper than shown in the photo — despite the dye coming off on my hands, the yarn retained enough dye to be beautifully luxurious looking.  Here is the store mannequin wearing the cowl —

Overall, I am very happy with this project.  The pattern is free from Purl Soho and offers three variations.  You can do the cowl with only the fake cables, or only the twisted stitches, or as I did with a combination of both.  I can definitely see myself doing this again. 

I have been working on a throw for my newest grandson in Arizona.  The young man is wild for firetrucks, and his bedroom reflects this.  I went searching and found a chart for a firetruck, and I cast on and started improvising.  Last week, the blanket looked like this —

I finally got the third panel finished and attached. Onwards to a border!  I picked up stitches around all four sides.  (Thank heavens for my Addi interchangeables!  I used a connector and have two cables in play!). Each corner has a knit stitch going out diagonally and I am increasing both sides of that stitch on alternate rows.  As I left today I took a photo.

I just have to finish my current white stripe, add a yellow stripe (2 rows) and one more white stripe (4 rows).  Then I plan on doing an i-cord bind off in red.  Adding all the colours to the blanket was an attempt to use up as much yarn as possible.  It is fitting that I will need one more ball of red.

I have started knitting socks for Christmas 2024.  If I can do one pair per month, I stand a good chance of being done by the holiday.  To that end, I present the first pair — Socks on a Plane worked in Gathering Yarns Homestead Painted.  I used a 2.75mm needle and 62 stitches.  The pattern asks for 64, but I was working off memory and these will fit just fine. 

Having completely finished two sweaters, a cowl AND a pair of socks one would think my list of projects screaming for attention would be diminished.  You would be incorrect.  It turns out that I have a hard time counting, and there are still 12 items on the list.  


Monday, January 29, 2024

Three down, 12 to go!

 Last week I was commenting about the 15 projects screaming for my attention.  And then I started something new. 

This week i will claim three finished projects — the new cowl which is downstairs soaking in water and vinegar.  Every time I touched that project, my hands turned green.  My stitch markers all have a green tinge to them now.  Only a slight tinge, which will wesr off over time.  But the cowl itself?  Into the water it went, got swished, soaked, got swished.  And the water is still clear without any green.  How does that happen, I ask you.  Pictures next time, I promise. 

I also finished these little guys: 

These are a pattern called Gramps from Tin Can Knits.  This has become one of my favourite patterns, for a lot of reasons.  The sizes available range from newborn to adult 4X; the pockets add a nice touch; and finally who could possibly resist the elbow patches? These were created for the impending arrival of a set of twins, due in early April.  The shower was Sunday, so the need for secrecy is no longer present.

I knit the 6-12 month size, using Estelle Worsted.  I needed two skeins of the main colour and one for the contrast.  There was plenty of yarn left that I could have made hats as well, had time permitted.  In fact, I only needed the second skein to finish the last inch of the second sleeve on each sweater.

 Let me tell you about those buttons.  They are the world’s most expensive buttons.  I needed 10, so off to Fabricland I go.  Three packages of buttons in hand, and I recall I need some interfacing for the book I intend to make for my grand-daughter.  I have the panel already … so I find interfacing.  But wait!  Christmas fabric is on sale at 60% off.  Since I made stockings for my family, it has expanded seven times.  So I pick out seven different fabrics for new stockings.  Sadly, I did not find fabric for the top part of the stockings, but that doesn't NEED to specifically be Christmas fabric.  The young lady started measuring and cutting. I looked at the amounts adding up … bought a membership and saved over $100.  Now I can’t wait to get to my sewing machine.

In other news, the packages mailed to my sons have both arrived at their respective destinations.  They have been opened, to much joy and delight.  And the socks all fit the recipients,  Yay!  Christmas 2023 is mow officially put to bed.