Saturday, December 22, 2007

Still busy

Only 2 days left until the 24th. I am still busy finishing up the knitted gifts. I hadn't planned on knitting most of these, they were somewhat last-minute ideas. When I bought fiberfill 2 weeks ago for the Hedwig owl that I had started in August for Thomas I thought I could also knit a doll for Ellen for Christmas, especially since she will be getting a dollbed that my husband and the boys built for her. And so I quickly finished this little boy

It was a fast knit, only the finishing took some time. And I already changed the pattern to knitting in the round for the 4 limbs and the pants to avoid too much seaming. It was a fun way to use up a lot of the cotton yarns that have accumulated from kids' sweaters over the last few years. And since the doll will need a blanket in her new bed I started this:

It is going to be a log cabin doll blanket, based on the pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting. And it is using up some of my wool leftovers from various projects. I am almost done with it now, just have to add a border.
After finishing this I hope I will be able to work on the Hedwig owl. And maybe even a hat for my husband.
Back to knitting.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Es weihnachtet sehr ....

When I was a child we didn't get to see our decorated Christmas tree until Christmas Eve - all lit up with real candles! But now that I live in the US we set up and decorate the Christmas tree in the beginning of December but still leave it up until January 6th.

Of course I couldn't resist buying this little ornament when I saw it at One Thousand Villages last week:

I was also busy with the advent calendar for the kids. Since they still had Halloween candy left over they are getting puzzle pieces every day until they each have a full puzzle on the 24th.

There is still some time for knitting though. I finished another hat for Ellen. I love the colors and the feel of the Lorna's Laces yarn. I especially like how the top of the hat turned out. It is just ribs alternated with twisted ribs.

I bought the yarn for this hat without much thinking and decided that the colors didn't look good on me. But I think I know who will like them and so I now have a Christmas gift for her. It is the yarnharlot's Unoriginal Hat knitted in Malabrigo Worsted (double stranded).

And I started another gift - the boy doll from Zoe Mellor's Knitted Toys. I only bought the beige yarn for the face and body, all the rest is various leftover yarn. I couldn't decide if I should do the fairy doll or the boy for her. If I get it done fast and it turns out, I might just make the fairy doll also.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mitten Brothers

I finished the Komi mittens for Thomas.

When Niklas saw me knitting them he wanted "the same mittens" but with green as the main color. In the end I was worried I would run out of dark blue and green yarn. I had knitted all four mittens and then still had to do all four thumbs. But luckily I had enough yarn.
The pattern is the Mitten #6 from Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch. I used Cascade 220 yarn, the dark blue and green was leftover yarn, I just had to buy the blue yarn. I knitted with 3 mm needles and they are a bit dense, but I think it makes them warmer. I had not knitted two-color mittens before, but the Komi mitten patterns are very nice and I am considering knitting a pair for myself.

After the mittens I cast on for one of my Christmas gifts. They are socks in the Embossed Leaves sock pattern from Interweave (also in the Favorite Socks book). I had knitted socks in that pattern before for myself, but the yarn was variegated and the pattern didn't show very well. This time I chose almost solid-colored Colinette Jitterbug in dark green. The pattern shows much better. I enjoy knitting this pattern and also the yarn which I purchased immediately after I finished Colinette socks for me. So with yarn I love and a pattern that is easily memorized I hope to have these finished soon and then mail them off to Germany.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hats and Mittens

It has been colder last week and just in time I finished two Lusekofte Hats from the Hats On Book by Charlene Schurch. I only meant to knit one for my older son Thomas but it turned out too small, so Ellen lucked out and got it and she quite likes it, too!

This was leftover yarn from a Debbie Bliss Cardigan for the boys. I had bought it in Germany several years ago.

I like the pattern very much and so I immediately cast on for a second hat (this time in the right size for Thomas). I don't like the four-point decrease on top too much, though, and so I changed it to a 6 point-decrease which I like much better. On his hat I did'nt add a tassel. We are still biking and it fits better under the bicycle helmet without it.
For this hat I used Cascade 220 Wool yarn and the hat seems very warm.

I quite liked the two-color knitting and since the boys needed new mittens I am knitting mittens from another Charlene Schurch book, this time the Komi mitten book. It is the mitten no. 6. Again, I am using Cascade yarn. It is rather tight with the 3 mm needles, but I hope this way they are warmer. I still need to knit the thumbs on Thomas' mitten, but I wanted to do all the thumbs at one time and so I already knitted one mitten for Niklas with green as the main color and just started on the second one. I hope to have them finished by tomorrow.

Here is a picture of Niklas in his Halloween costume - it is the knight outfit from New Knits on the Block. He had requested it in spring to go with his play sword and luckily he chose it for Halloween. (I am the witch in the background).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Finished Cardigan!

I already finished the Tangled Yoke cardigan about 2 weeks ago. The picture is not very good, I will try to get some better ones. I enjoyed knitting it, but would not recommend knitting it in a dark color, since the yoke is not very visible, just in certain light. But it was stash yarn that had been lying around for 2 years not knowing that it would end up as something so beautiful.

The pattern is Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits. I used Tivoli Luxury Tweed that my husband brought back from a layover in Dublin 2 years ago. Here is a - also not so great - closeup of the yoke:

Just before I finished the cardigan I started knitting these socks:

They are knitted in Colinette Jitterbug that I had purchased from the Maschenkunst Atelier in Cologne, Germany, in spring. I couldn't believe that I hadn't knitted with it earlier since the yarn is so soft and such a pleasure to knit with. I used the Weaving Lace Pattern by Evelyn Clark from the Favorite Socks book. I knitted the socks toe-up since I wasn't sure how far the yarn would go and also didn't want to waste any. I was more worried that it wouldn't be enough, though. But they turned out great and fit.

After the cardigan I had to work on "homework" for an Arnhild Hillesland workshop organized through the Windy City Knitting Guild. It is a Teddy-bear size Norwegian sweater. The class was about the finishing of such sweaters. I did not finish the sweater in class, but learned a lot (first time steeking) and hope to knit a kid or adult-size Norwegian sweater soon. I left the class very inspired.

After finishing this sweater I will have to knit some hats and mittens for the kids. The weather has turned cool now and I cannot find many of the knitted mittens from last year. I think I might just knit some Norwegian mittens. Off to work ...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Not much progress to report. I am still knitting on the Tangled Yoke Cardigan but it is taking time. I finished the main body part up to the armholes and started the first sleeve. Now I think that I will have enough yarn.

My older son Thomas and I went to the Renegade Craft Fair yesterday. We had planned to go on Saturday but it felt too chilly. The weather was beautiful yesterday and we had a great time looking at all the handmade offerings. We made a few purchases, too. I bought one skein of hand-dyed sock yarn by Aisha Celia and one skein of handpainted lace-weight yarn by I am very excited about both and cannot wait to get them on the needle. But first the cardigan ...
The icecream cone is for my daughter. It is made out of felt. One of her first words was 'Eis' (German for 'icecream'). It is still one of her favorite foods. And she sees icecream cones in a lot of things (a microphone, picture of an acorn).

Since I don't have anything newly finished to show - here is a picture of Ellen wearing the Polly Pocket Dress from the Miss Bea's Seaside book knitted in denim yarn. I knitted this a while ago and she wore it a lot last winter. It is getting a bit small now, and I am considering knitting her a bigger one, either the same or a similar one. She loves the pockets on this one so I know a new one would have to have pockets.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Back to school for the boys -

means back to knitting for me.

School started on Tuesday and we are getting settled in to our school routines. That also means that I can get a little bit more knitting done during the day if Ellen takes a midday nap. And it also means I can work on something bigger than a sock because I can knit for more than 5 minutes uninterrupted. To "celebrate" this I cast on for the Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits.

I am using yarn that my husband had bought in Ireland during a layover there last year. I had started knitting a sweater for Thomas but felt that the yarn was too nice for a boy sweater and so ripped it. The yarn is called Luxury Tweed and a blend of wool, alpaca, acrylic and viscose. It is not quite so dark as in the picture, more of a charcoal color with specks of colors throughout. Now I only hope I have enough yarn. I keep my fingers crossed.

I finished the scarf from Victorian Lace Today but didn't do a very good blocking job and so I am re-blocking it. When that is finished it will go to a friend who had given me a lot of hand-me downs for Ellen. I have another skein of this yarn and as I mentioned before didn't enjoy knitting with it. The scarf has a very nice drape and feel though and so I think I will hold onto the yarn and make another one (just not so soon).

In early summer some vines sprouted in the garden, and I let them grow wondering what I would get. I got a lot of these beauties

and now I am getting a lot of these

So far I have "harvested" at least 25 of these gourds and there are lots more. I had bought some last fall at the farmer's market and when they didn't look good anymore I tossed them into the compost.

I always try to have sunflowers in my garden. Last year I had some very tall ones. But this year I wasn't very lucky. The ones that are there are very beautiful though.