Winter Twilight Mitts

twilight mittsI made these fingerless mitts for my daughter Lindsay. She very patiently waited in 2014 while Christmas passed, and then her birthday in January. Last year held very little knitting for me as I finished my certificate of horticulture. But now that I’m done, I’ve been able to pick up my knitting needles again and give these to her for Christmas this year.

I love how the gradating yarn looks like twilight coming through the trees.

Rhinebeck Weekend

IMG_5397This past weekend was the NY Sheep & Wool festival. I go up with my knitting gals and stay at the gorgeous home of one of their parents. The festival is for all things sheepy and fiber-related. There are sweet animals to look at, beautiful fall foliage to gape at, and lots of tempting goodies for sale. It’s fun to get to know the breeds that provide the yarn I love to knit with.

It’s also fun to flex your knitting muscles and wear one of your knitted creations. This cardigan was hot off the presses. I sewed the buttons on during the car ride up to Rhinebeck. I’m very happy with how it turned out and think it fits very well. Everyone’s knitwear at the festival was stunning. It’s great to see so much creativity in one place.

And now I’m back in Brooklyn with a little wool for my spinning wheel. Can’t wait to get started!

Lace Shawl

I think I started this shawl in 2007. It’s from a gorgeous book of patterns called Victorian Lace Today. The combination of intricate lace and the black yarn made this a beast to knit. It was left to marinade in a bin until a few months ago.

I’m not sure why this is, but often when I set a challenging project aside it is much easier when I go back to it. That was the case with this shawl as well.

I finished it and you can see it blocking (it’s crucial to stretch lace out to highlight the stitch pattern). I was even able to keep the cat off of it with all the uncomfortable pins.

Now I just need a photo of me wearing it!



Knitting through the sadness

stripe shawlA couple of weeks ago we found out that our friend and neighbor suffered a massive stroke. He died a week later, leaving behind his wife and 3  young children. He was 41 years old.

It’s hard to describe how wonderful this family is. They are smart, funny, fun-loving and kind. They have a huge close-knit group of friends and family, which is a big comfort right now. What the family is going through is unimaginable and any attempts at help just seem so pitifully little.

It’s been hard to stop thinking about them, and while grieving their loss, I decided to knit our friend a shawl. I hope it will give her some comfort knowing that there are so many people out there who love her and want to help support her.

The pattern is called Stripe Study Shawl. It is an asymmetrical shawl that uses short rows (for any knitters who might be reading this) to make one side of the stripes wider than the other side. I’ve been wanting to make this for a while and I’m very happy with how it turned out. Here are some photos.

NY Sheep & Wool Festival

This past weekend I went with 3 friends from my knitting group up to Rhinebeck, NY to the NY Sheep and Wool festival. For those of you who aren’t knitters (seriously, are there any??), this weekend is kind of the holy grail for knitters and spinners. One of my friends referred to it as Burning Man for middle-aged women.

The festival takes place at the Dutchess County fairgrounds, which are gorgeous with fall foliage this time of year. There are vendors of all kinds – yarns, spinning wheels, spinning fibers, patterns, shearling slippers, handmade soaps, etc. There are also barns filled with livestock including sheep, goats, alpaca and llamas. There are plenty of kids from the various farms who exhibit their animals and hope to win ribbons. It was hard to say if the sheep or these kids were cuter. I was particularly smitten with this sweet girl, who is about my daughter’s age. She was very proud of her sheep, and admitted to me that she does miss her animals after she sells them. I also thought this sheep showed an enormous amount of personality.

Lisa and I are eating lunch from the artichoke guys.

We really lucked out with the weather. It was sunny and mild, so we could wear some light knitwear. I finished this melon-colored sweater about a week before the festival. The pattern is called Buttercup. What’s fun about this weekend is that you are surrounded by your people. The sheer quantity of gorgeous (and bizarre) knitwear was astounding. The sheer quantity (shear quantity?) of bad knitting puns we saw was also astounding. Our B & B was filled with knitters, which was fun. 

And before we left, we stopped by the farmer’s market in Rhinebeck to pick up a few more goodies. My friend Amy came away with this gorgeous (and enormous!) wooden serving board.

Finished Teacher’s Shawls

Finally getting around to posting photos of the 2 shawls I made my daughter’s teachers. I gave them their shawls at an end of the year party in June. The white shawl will be worn with her wedding dress. The other shawl is a very pale peach color, which doesn’t show well in the photos.

So remember this lumpy pile?

Here it is all blocked.

Here’s the other shawl, which is really a loop. It can be worn as a wrap or as a long loop scarf.

Have you ever seen such sweet teachers?

Teacher Gifts

Every year I like to knit something for Lindsay’s teachers to show my appreciation of all the love and care and amazing work they do. I usually surprise them, but this year BOTH of Lindsay’s teachers are getting married. I asked them if they would like me to knit them a shawn for their wedding (or not). One of the teachers asked for a shawl to go with her wedding dress and the other asked for a casual summer shawl. I wanted to get started on the shawl for the wedding as there was a real deadline. The wedding is in August, but I don’t like cutting things close.

This is a pattern that is aptly named Trousseau. I am using Malabrigo sock yarn, which is fun and springy and making this an absolute pleasure to knit. I’ll post photos of the finished and blocked shawl soon.

Knitted Gifts

For the past few months, I’ve been knitting like mad, making gifts for the people close to me. Here’s a selection of what I’ve made. I sent some projects off without photographing them.

Coffee press cosy for Neil

Here’s a cosy I knit Neil for our french press coffee pot. It uses a design called the Death Flake. If you look closely you will see the skulls inside a snowflake motif.

I knit these fingerless gloves for my MIL. I liked them so much, I knit a pair for my sister and am now knitting a pair for another friend.

This little sweater was made for baby Maia. 

This blue sweater was knit for baby Thomas. His mom was Lindsay’s 1st grade teacher.

This little hat is for baby Ray, due any week now.

Here’s a cardigan for baby Ray.

This little green sweater is for an upcoming baby. Here’s a link to the sweater pattern.

This sweater is the latest one off my needles. It’s based on a pattern called Paper Dolls, but instead of having a paper doll motif, Lindsay wanted the death flake pattern. My sister helped talk me down off the ledge when I realized that not only would I need to chart the new motif, but I would have to figure out where to put decreases within the motif. She charted out this version and added the cute hearts at the bottom. Now I really need to take photos better than these iphone ones!