Monday, December 30, 2013


I've gotten into the habit of knitting socks for my immediate family for Christmas.  By immediate family, I mean my husband, our four children, and their assorted partners.  I try to start in January and do one pair a month.  Generally, this plan works -- providing I actually hold to the plan. 

This year I did not.  The result was that I spent December knitting frantically in an effort to finish in time.  Then I started knitting in the order in which I would see people.  This meant that I had an extra week to finish up the socks for my eldest and his family.  Whew!

Behold the socks for my eldest! Nice manly socks.  The yarn is Fortissima Socka ( 0040).  I worked a  six-inch leg because I wanted to be certain that I had sufficient wool to finish the pair, as these are for a large foot.  No problem. 

Next up were socks for my daughter-in-law.  
The yarn is a discontinued On your toes from SRK.  Too bad, because it really is a decent sock yarn.  I didn't find it at all difficult to work with.  These got a seven-inch leg because the foot part was smaller.  Still have plenty of wool, actually. 

Remember that these two blessed me with a new baby in August?  Baby Panda needed some Christmas socks too! 
These socks are the cutest, tiniest things I've knit in ages.  32 stitches, and you're off to the races. Notice that they match the daddy socks?   Just makes 'me even more cute.   And talk about a quick project!  Maybe one television show per section.  And that's being generous. 

Anyone care to guess how I'll be using up my leftover sock yarns?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Planes, trains and automobiles

When last we talked, I was looking forward to a visit with my new grandson.  Yes,that was way back in September.   One plane ride (uneventful) and my eldest met me at the far end airport.  the timing was absolutely perfect.   next we traveled via the metro (the train part of our ride) to his automobile, within which we traveled to his home.

I got to snuggle wee Panda, and kiss his little head, and fingers, and toes, and generally anything that came close.  I had a delightful visit with the kids.    I was very sad to come home.  He is a beautiful little boy, and his parents are enjoying him immensely.

Upon my return, I was busy with the store and life in general.   I still can't believe that it's December already.   I don't have nearly enough holiday knitting completed!     

The store was asked to teach a class at the Scugog library again.  This is a fund raiser for the library, and we were happy to oblige.   The ladies are so enjoyable, and the setting is really quite nice.   While at the class one day, I solved a mystery:  How does this happen?
One of our regular customers had done this, and both Barb and I were perplexed as to how it happens.  Now I know!   When casting on, using a knitted on technique, be sure to put your stitch marker in behind you, not in front.   I created my usual möbius twist, so I didn't have to break the stitch marker out.  Whew!  Now I know why I love my Clover markers so much!

There has been lots of knitting in the past two months ... I'll track down my projects and pictures for you.  Soon.  I also promise not to be gone for so long next time. 

Monday, September 02, 2013

The summer of my (computer) discontent.

Remember when I muttered about computer issues in my last post?  Well, things have gone from worse to bad.  We finally got computers up and running both at the store and at home (thanks, Steve and Steve).  Unfortunately, all the old familiar programs are not there.  Including the ones used to play with photos for the blog, the website and the newsletter.  I'm adapting ... I say through clenched teeth ... I'm adapting ... I'm learning ... even if it drives me crazy.  (If Steve and Steve read this, please accept my sincere apologies if it sounds like I'm complaining.  I'm really not; it's myself I'm carping at -- this learning and adapting thing requires far more patience and grace than I generally display at the best of times.  Many, many thanks for all your hard work and efforts.) 

So, now that I seem to have a computer AND camera that will talk to each other with a minimum of angst, here are some projects that I've been working on! 

We ordered in some Moonlight Sonata by James Brett at the store.  Our sales rep. was kind enough to gift us with a sample ball of yarn to play with, and it grew up to be this lovely scarf: 

I used colour SM7 and a Feather & Fan stitch pattern using an 18-stitch repeat.  54 stitches, size 6.0mm needles, and the scarf is taller than I can reach.  Awesome and beautiful.  And simple.  That's the best part -- it's an easy to memorize pattern so that one can enjoy the beauty of the yarn and the developing pattern. There are other colours of this yarn that I yearn to knit ... so many projects, so many yarns, and only so many hours and minutes in the day.  Darn! 

I knit a lot of socks these days as well.  My children love to get socks in their stockings at Christmas, so it feels like there are always socks on the needles.  On the left is a pair of Slipstream Socks from  I'd already knit up a pair of these socks and gifted them to Barb; the pattern was so awesome, though, that I just had to do it again, especially since we were doing the socks as our July knit-along ... The yarn is Heritage Paint from Cascade Yarns; of course, I seem to have misplaced the ball band but I believe it was #9884.  The socks were knit on a 3.0mm this time, and are fabulous.  I have an idea in whose stocking these might end up, but things may change between now and Christmas.  

The socks on the right were knit using a test-dye of our Never Enough Wool signature sock yarn.  While I remembered the colours I used and the technique, we weren't ever able to recreate this specific glorious colour.  Darn!  In any event, these are plain toes-up socks, knit on a 2.5mm needle.  Again, I have an idea ... but we'll know more when the holiday arrives.

Seeing projects finish in quick succession caused me to try out the whole "project monogamy" idea again.  And for two whole months, it worked.  I knit up these scarves lickety-split:

 The bottom scarf was knit using Gladstone from Estelle, in a stitch pattern to be published in our 2014 N.E.W. calendar; the way cool red scarf is a colour called Tomato Bisque from Dye-Version in another stitch design for our calendar; and the scarf on top?  That is the Montego Bay from Interweave Knits, worked up in a double strand of Jaipur from Katia and Garden from Nazli Gelin.  I've seen many of our customers do this scarf in so many different combinations, and the result is always spectacular.  Unfortunately, we aren't able to source the Garden at the store any longer, so the colours available to us there are dwindling.  In any event, it's a $16 scarf that any person on my holiday list will be happy to receive.  Or myself.  Just sayin'.  

Then I knit up a pair of entrelac mittens from a book called Noro Accessories.  Of course, I used the Kureyon specified ...

 The truly interesting thing about Noro is its texture.  The yarns always feel rough and hard when you knit them; once completed, washed and blocked, they feel totally different.  Even looking at the mittens you can see the difference -- the mitt on the left has not been washed, while the one on the right has.  See how the lines are softened?  The tip has become rounded?  While I must admit that I really don't like the KNITTING of Noro yarns, I do love the finished projects.

And speaking of knitting with Noro yarns ... I had three balls of Silk Garden Lite in my stash, and hadn't decided what to do with them.  Barb came up with a cunning plan -- combine them with three balls of Rowan  Calmer and knit a sideways vest!  The vest comes from Noro Knits, of course.
The actual knitting of the vest was made more difficult because I decided to use two yarns and make even more stripes than the Silk Garden would have normally made, not to mention that I attempted a fibonacci idea.  I could've done a pure fibonacci sequence since I was using circular needles; however, the project was complicated enough that I decided to fudge things a bit and always change colours at the same end of the knitted piece.  And THEN I got into the design itself.  Talk about something being totally confusing!  I was ready to fling the vest out the window of a moving car, when I had the brilliant idea of checking Ravelry for knitter comments.  A brilliant knitter there said -- forget the pattern, knit to the diagram.  And she was right.  Once I gave up on trying to figure out what the pattern was telling me to do, and followed the diagram, the whole thing became a joy.  I did add an attached I-cord all around the edges of the vest to cover the carries of the unused yarns, and it did add a more finished look to the armholes.  Plus, it used up enough of the Silk Garden that I don't mind discarding the remaining twenty feet.  And the buttons ... ah, the buttons.  These are fired glass, made by a local artist.  They really finish off the vest perfectly.

Now that you've all managed to hang in to the end of this marathon post, I feel I must say something about the pictures.  Many of them appear to have been taken in the bathtub.  And that would be accurate.  This morning was such a dreary and grey day that I despaired of getting decent photos, until I remembered that we have a skylight over the bathtub, the tub is white, and I had a chance of getting good colours.  In my humble opinion, it worked.  I'll have to remember this for future photo shoots!

In case you are wondering, I seem to have taken a nasty tumble off the project-monogamy bandwagon.  It wasn't my fault -- honest.  I just didn't have the right needles in my bag, and there was wool to be knit!  So right now I have on the go a chunky, fair-isle pullover; an adorable vest being knit with my Mothers' Day cashmere/silk handpaint yarn; a baby set in Zauberball (gee, I wonder who that will be for?); a pair of socks in a cotton/bamboo yarn we are testing for next summer; and I just got an 800m skein of to-die-for pure mulberry silk laceweight.   It hasn't told me what it wants to be when it grows up so I'm open to suggestions.  I've also completed one square for a Lizard Ridge afghan ...

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

This and that ...

Because life is never simple, and why have computer issues only at the store when we can have them at home too, here is one of my more strange posts.

Doug and I were on our way to a friends' home when we drove past an antique shop up on Highway 12 at Blackwater.  "Spinning wheel!" I exclaimed.  But we didn't stop.  I drove back up the next day and looked at it, and came home.  Thought about it.  And then acquired it.  If you tip your head to the right ...

It's a tidy little wheel.  About 3 feet tall, and all wood.  I found a gentleman who works wonders with
spinning wheels, and left it with him.  He had to tighten
up the centre of the wheel, add the whorl at the top, and add one bead to the lazy kate.  (I'm trying to learn the proper names of the parts -- it makes me feel so sophisticated!) 

When I went to retrieve the wheel, the gentleman's wife demonstrated how well it could spin.  I'm taking lessons from her, come September.  She is a master spinner, and has a reputation for being able to spin moonbeams into wool.  Nice!

The gentleman doing the repairs was quite pleased to see that the flyer was not only present and accounted for, but also in one piece!  The whorl
is at the left, with the drive band.  (That might not be the correct name -- but it does turn the wheel, so it may be correct after all!)  There is also a Scotch tension that can be used, but I hear that it is a bit trickier to learn.

All this to say that I'm gonna learn to spin!  I am so excited!  The spinning product will be for my personal use ... hand spinning is just a bit too time-consuming to try for production quantities.  
 I've also been working on some more items for Baby Panda Boi, as my daughter-in-law and son call the impending arrival.  The outfit at left is made from Queensland Sugar Rush and Sugar Rush Jacquard.  I used three balls of each, and have minimal left-overs.  The pattern is from Naturally (New Zealand), and knit up quite beautifully.  Although the pattern called for a different type of yarn, the substitution worked beautifully.  All in all, I'm thrilled with the outcome.  I can't wait to see the new baby wearing this!
 Other major events in my life -- my beautiful daughter graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours bachelor's degree in Religion and Equity Studies.  Again, tip your head a wee bit to the left ... (Hey -- I'm an equal opportunity head tipper - once to the right, and once to the left!)

She has an internship (with pay, hooray!) at the University for the next six months, so she is feeling quite chuffed with herself.
 In what was a total surprise to me, both her brothers decided to come for the event.  Shown here are Jason (eldest), Carrie (youngest) and Jeffrey (middle).  I look at these youngsters and am so impressed and proud.  They have all three done well for themselves.  Jason is gainfully employed with a U.S. governmental agency, and Jeffrey just completed his master's degree in guidance counseling.  He's looking for work in his field, and has several interviews scheduled.  Yay!
 After the graduation ceremony, we all went out to dinner.  I had the joy of sitting next to Jason and chatting all evening.  Doug snapped a photo of the two of us enjoying a nice laugh.  I don't get to spend as much time with Jason as I'd like, and his lovely wife was back home tending their kitties and growing Baby Panda Boi.  The due date is in August, so it was better that she not travel right now.  We definitely missed her.  I'm extremely excited to be able to visit with them come September, and hold the new baby!
At the store we are always looking for new yarns.  Barb and I ordered in a bag of Cascade Cherub to try out.  Interestingly enough, Barb worked up a baby sweater with her half bag and quite enjoyed it.  I tried out this Cabin Fever pattern ... using the 4.0mm needle the yarn suggested, I found the fabric to be limp.  Extremely limp.  Undaunted, I ripped out and tried again with a 3.75mm needle.  Gauge is more like a 4-ply yarn (think Sirdar Snuggly 4-ply), but the fabric is still limp. In short, I think the Sirdar product is superior.

In other mental meanderings ... while I understand the allure of not wearing pantyhose (yeah, they do make the wearer more warm), I recently attended an event where the ladies were pretty much all required to be dressed up.  Apparently, the concept of underslips has also gone out the window along with pantyhose.  Have you ever seen a room full of women reaching around to pull their skirts away from their rear ends?  I have ... and I'm not kidding when I tell you that the alleged comfort is not worth the lessening of appearance.  Women -- for heavens sake -- pantyhose and slips!  Really!  It is worth it!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Downloading update ...

Remember when I said that it seemed Barb and I had managed to switch brains?  And showed my overflowing knitting bag as proof positive?   I still swear that we have switched brains ... but my regular tendencies are attempting to manifest themselves.  THIS is my knitting bag this week:
 So let's see what projects we have stashed in there for my attention:
 That's the Noro sideways knit vest.  No progress, but it did escape being frogged.  It was close, I have to say.  I thought about working a Baby Surprise Jacket out of the Noro Silk Garden Lite.  Upon a closer look, however, I decided that I like it.  Enough to keep it around.
 I've started and made great progress on Baby Panda Boi's little outfit.  The back is done completely, and I'm almost at the armholes for the front.  I am enchanted with the yarn -- Sugar Rush from Queensland.  It feels so soft and silky that I'm envious of the little grandbaby for whom it is being knitted.

And then there's the Mother's Day wool from my daughter and hubby -- it has decided it wants to grow up and become this vest:
 Note that the pattern and the wool are in the same knitting bag.  The needles are, alas, currently in use in Baby Panda's project.  Must finish.  Quickly!

And instead of WIP (works in progress), I seem to have PIW (projects in waiting)!  Turns out that the Kertzer Bamboo is actually a full skein, albeit a slightly disheveled one.  I've got a full skein of coral at home and the combination will be absolutely beautiful.  All in good time.  All in good time. 
 And then there's the Cascade Cherub.  Still hasn't told me what it wants to be when it grows up ... still waiting for inspiration.  I figure the Mother's Day wool is outshouting it right now.  
And that's my knitting bag this week.

What's that you say?  I'm missing a project from last week's round-up.  Really?  I am? 
That's because I'm wearing it!  This is Painted Desert, colour no. 09.  I used three full balls and about 20g of the fourth ball.  (What a shame.  I'll have to knit up a set of fingerless mitts with the left-overs!)  The pattern is called "Renae" from Ella Rae's booklet #104 and it is a beauty.  I followed the pattern pretty much as written, which is why it is short.  Apparently all the girls wear them this short, with the top showing underneath. I'm not totally certain that the sweater is the right size for me -- it may be on the small side.  but I have to say that the wool was delightful to work with.  Absolutely.  It's such a shame that I have left-overs!

So there's my bag for the week.  What's in yours?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brain transfer complete.

When we were off in Michigan to see my son be awarded his Master's Degree, we received a frantic phone call telling us that Lizzie-kitty was ill.  She was, too.  She was so ill that I considered having her put to sleep.  Doug persuaded me that she deserved to have blood work, and so we tried.  The vet wasn't able to get enough to do a complete blood work (she IS a fierce wild beast after all), but she was able to check the important things.  We also gave her an appetite stimulant.  And then she started eating.  And feeling better.  I'd say that she's fully recovered, in fact. 

 Enough recovered that she was totally miffed at the bad weather we had for Mother's Day.  She'd venture out, and then dash back in shaking her paws in disgust.

In other news, the joke around here is that Barb and I share a brain.  Enough sharing that we are able to finish each other's sentences ... and even start them in unison.  Lately Barb has decided that she is going to carry only one project in her bag, and be monogamous until that project is finished.  It's working for her, actually.

I think the non-monogamous part of her brain transferred to me.  Because THIS is my knitting bag:
Whatever happened to the one-project-at-a-time thing?  Or even the one-project-for-the-store-and-one-project-for-me thing?  Because clearly I have misplaced that thought.

Firstly, we have a store project made from our new yarn called Painted Desert.  It's a heavier lace-weight yarn and it's beautiful.  I'm working on a little cardigan from Ella Rae; unfortunately I've not been able to find the book to link to. 
I've got the back and two fronts, and most of one sleeve.  Really, I'm so close I can taste the end coming.  But I've been distracted.   By this: 
 This is a sideways knitted vest that I'm working in Noro Silk Garden Lite and Rowan Calmer (discontinued, unfortunately).  I'm working a Fibonbacci sequence in addition to the garter stitch rib pattern.  Eeeek!   And then there are these socks -- 
These are Slipstream from, and I'm knitting them in one of our signature sock yarns.  Barb THOUGHT these were for Carrie for Christmas; the joke's on her!  Happy birthday, Barb!

Also in my knitting bag is the absolutely terrific Mother's Day gift from my daughter and hubby --

This yarn is merino, cashmere and silk, and is a one-of-a-kind hand-dye run.  Two skeins!  800 meters!   It's going to grow up to be the vest that's on the cover of Knitwear Spring/Summer 2013.   I can't cast on until I finish the Painted Desert project, because that's where the necessary needles are.

I'm also carrying around some yarn that we brought in to sample -- Cherub by Cascade Yarns.  It's a delightful yarn and knits beautifully, according to Barb.  However, we'd have to stop carrying the Sirdar Snuggly DK, and the colour range from Sirdar is wider than from Cascade.  In the meantime, I have these 6 balls to use up.
 Remember when I announced the impending arrival of a grandbaby?  This gives me the perfect excuse to knit up a sample in the Sugar Rush from Queensland.   The pattern is actually for a different bamboo yarn, but the gauge and feel is identical so I'm going for it.  Since the grandbaby will live in Virginia, I'm thinking that I'll make a six-month size.  This will be a beautiful late fall outfit for Baby Panda.
I also agreed to knit up a touque for an advertising salesman.  Just a basic ribbed hat in some really nice wool.  Even though the season for wool hats is past,  he still wants the hat.  Nice!
Barb finished her bamboo top and discovered that she needed just a wee, tiny bit of yarn from skein #4.  Rather than add to her ever-growing project list, I told her she could gift the skein to me and I'd mix it with some coral bamboo that I've got (same yarn, different colour) and make a pair of striped socks.  Saves her another spot on her queue.  
Whew.  As much fun as this is, I am being told that I need to finish Barb's birthday socks.  See you later!

Friday, May 03, 2013

Ahem. A little of this, a little of that ...

Ahem.  I'm really not certain just where all those days have gone.  It really feels like yesterday that we celebrated the new year.  And here it is, May 3.  Almost May 4th, in fact.

There have been a lot of things happening around my house.  First of all, I knit this:
This is a baby blanket.  The pattern is called "Traditional Shetland Shawl" and is an old photocopied pattern that I had found here at the house.  I always liked the design, and was waiting for a reason to knit a baby blanket.  (For the record, I used 6.5 balls of Baby Lanett and a 3.5mm needle to knit this up.)  "A red baby blanket?" you ask.  Well, yes.  You see, my daughter-in-law is from Hong Kong, and where she comes from this is the colour of baby blanket you knit.  Red for good luck. 

Yes, this means that my son and daughter-in-law are making me a grandma this summer!  I'm so excited!  They are calling the little one "Baby Boi Panda" right now, so when Doug and I went to Costco recently, guess what I found! 
Border crossings being what they are these days, we didn't actually purchase this giant panda.  But we did think about it! 

In other news, I was forced to miss this year's Knitter's Frolic.  It seems Western Michigan University had other plans for me that day.  What plans might those be?  Well ...
My middle child completed his Master's Degree in guidance counseling!  Since he figures this is the only Master's Degree he will be getting, I couldn't miss the occasion.  I figure it was worth skipping the Frolic for!  I even managed to squeeze in a visit with my three brothers and their families while I was in Michigan!

And then we hurried back home because
Carrie had an awards ceremony Monday night.  She was awarded a 2013 Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award!  Yes, my daughter is finishing up her Bachelor's Degree (double major no less) this year.  Her future plans include a six-month (paid) internship at the University of Toronto in the Student Leadership & Development office.  Right now, she is thrilled to be done with school -- no more readings, papers to write, or exams!  Hip-hip-hooray!

In other news, my friend Barb has been teased endlessly about the size of her project queue.  I thought I'd help her out -- show everyone my stash.  Because I thought I had lots and lots.
Seriously -- that is a LOT of stash.  5 large bins, plus overflow into boxes and such.  Even Barb's son was impressed! 
Turns out that I don't have nearly as much as I thought.  Barb had me sorted and stowed in two hours.  I was embarrassed when I saw the stack.  After sorting it out, however, I'm feeling pretty comfortable.  What I have is a lot of single balls, leftovers from completed projects.  We managed to toss together enough yarns for a Log Cabin afghan, a cardigan, a couple of shawls ... All in all, not nearly as impressive or large as I thought.  Whew.  Didn't make Barb feel much better.  So I thought about it ... and decided

When I grow up, I want to have a stash like Barb's!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A little of this, a little of that.

Time seems to be slipping away from me far too quickly these days.  It feels like it was just yesterday that we celebrated the new year, and here it is halfway through March.  In those two and a half missing months, my eldest son celebrated his 33rd birthday.  Yes, 33.  Holy smokes -- how in the world did THAT happen?  Even tho I didn't make a celebratory posting about here, I am very proud of him.  He has grown to be a fine young man, with a career he enjoys, hobbies that bring him joy, and a family of his own.  (If by family you mean a wife and two cats, that is!)  I don't get to see him and his wife nearly as much as I'd like, and we talk on the telephone even less.  He's a busy guy, and I don't want to be one of those overbearing mothers who smother their children.  I hope he knows that I'm immensely proud of him and love him to the ends of the world and back.

In my last post, I remember alluding to a plethora of projects that had been cast on since I finished my Aran Afghan.  One of them was a sweater for our "upside down"  class at the store.  Once again, I used the little booklet from Patons called Upside Downers and created the textured pull-over shown on the cover.
 This time I used five skeins of Patons Classic Wool in a discontinued blue.  I just don't understand why they would discontinue this colour -- it's so pretty.  I have lots of customers who also love it, and use it regularly.  Fortunately, I can get a very similar colour from Cascade in their 220 line, so it's not a total loss.  I also used one ball of Galway Highland Heather and another colour of Patons Classic for the lighter of the two contrasting colours.  THIS time I got the sleeves to a proper length for myself ... altho there were other issues.

Heh.  Turns out that I didn't have all the same dyelot for the light blue.  In fact, I had three different dyelots.  I tried to blend the colours in ...
Sometimes with more success than others.  The first colour change occurs right after the arm take-off.  I did one row of alternating colours, and there is a faint line.  The second dyelot change occurs about two inches above the bottom ribbing.  That time I worked three rows of alternating colours, and the switch is virtually invisible.  Note to self:  More is better.  Remember that!

There are three more sweaters to show off ... but time on the blocking board is at a premium; additionally, I much prefer to show the sweaters while being worn.  Hence, you'll have to wait a bit to see them.

So in lieu of knitting content, let's talk about other things.  For instance, my lovely daughter is now living in Toronto and attending University.  She has figured out that she quite possibly won't be coming home to live permanently again.  Sure, there are the occasional visits.  And there may be a bit between university and a "real" job, but she hopes not.  And she does know that I've been longing for a "wool room" ever since we moved up here to Canada.  So she very sweetly offered that I should go ahead and start using her room for this purpose.  "Great!"  I thought.

After somber reflection, however ... You see, I have always laughingly told her that when I die, I want to be buried with my needles and my stash.  I've gotta have something to keep my fingers busy, you know?  And she'd always told me that she'd take care of that.  Then she started knitting.  And the tone of her reassurances changed.  She tells me that she's on it, but I have a feeling I'm gonna get stuck with the plastic needles and acrylic yarn.  The girl IS a yarn snob, after all.  So ... Now I'm not going to make any accusations, but my mother didn't raise any dummies.  I figure it's all a ploy -- I'll move my stash into her room and then she'll come home for the weekend.  Possession is 9/10 of the law, right?

I'm knitting as fast as I can!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January -- what I've been doing.

It's been pretty busy around this household.  The holidays were great -- even managed to get all the socks finished in time.  Of course, it was only because we didn't see some of the recipients until later in the month.  But then after I finished the Great American Aran Afghan, I --

WAIT!  I didn't brag tell you about having finished the afghan.  What was I thinking?!

Yes, after 4 years and 10 months, I have finally finished the Great American Aran Afghan.  All 25 squares AND the border.  

I cast on the first square back in February of 2008.  This was a "knit along" for myself and store customers.  Barb started, as did several others.  It seems we are all greatly distractable ...and there has been lots of knitting in the interim.

Now that I'm finished, I know some people (Carrie, I'm looking at you!) will wonder which squarea is my favourite.  In the interest of fairness (and also because I'm not a linear thinker), I'm just going to say that they were all favourites at one time or another.  Possibly because I was working on them, or because I had just finished it.  It doesn't seem fair to the designers to rate them.

One square that turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought was this little beauty:
I really wasn't excited by the thought of having a spider crawling around on my afghan.  After all, I'm really not that fond of the little guys.  However, putting wings on the critters in the spider web made all the difference in the world.  Now I wish I'd included more bugs!  This, by the way, is the Judy Sumner square.

I made notes, more or less, about each square as I knit it.  Sometimes I noted things I'd do differently if I made the afghan again.  Sometimes I noted errors in the patterns.  Sometimes I even noted changes that I made in the designs:
This is the Vicki Sever square, which she designed as a memorial to her sister who died from breast cancer.  Her square included a pink ribbon.  There's just so many cancers in my family (we lost my mother to lymphoma and leukemia; my elder sister is a survivor of breast and lung cancer; my elder brother is a survivor of lymphoma; and I am counting down the months until I can say I survived thyroid cancer) that I didn't want to put only one colour on the ribbon.  Besides, what colour is thyroid cancer anyway?  I chose instead to repeat the faith, hope and love motifs.  These are the tenets that I live by, and so it seemed fitting to change the square in this way.

Wait a minute -- you say there are only 24 squares in the book?  How did I do 25?  Well, it seemed only fitting to have a signature square.  I drafted it up, and started knitting;
In hindsight, I wish I had taken the time to make my name and the year stand out better.  I decided in August that I would finish the afghan in 2012, come hell or high water.  When December rolled around, I still had the border and some of the sewing to complete.  I stuck to only knitting the afghan while at the store, and managed completion with two days to spare.  Whew!

The border makes all the difference in the world.  I mean, the afghan is nice all sewn together.  I've seen pictures of the afghan worked with a garter stitch border.   That was a nice afghan, but the cabled border really sets it all off.  The best part is that the cable isn't hard to do, even around the corners. 

I have talked to women in the store who have made this afghan several times, usually given as wedding gifts to their children.  I've entertained the thought of making it again -- after all, there are four children between Doug and I.   I used Patons Canadiana, and I don't regret that.  The afghan is going on my bed and I know it'll get washed on a regular basis.  If I were making it again, I'd be sure to get enough yarn/wool all in the same dye lot for the complete afghan (I ended up selling some of my yarn to customers who needed "one more ball" in that dyelot, so there are some colour mismatches.)  I'd also not hang any of the squares in the window where they would/could become sun-damaged.  Hindsight is 20/20 after all.

But I do have to say that all in all, this is an afghan of which I am mightily proud.