Friday, December 30, 2011

The day before New Year's Eve

No official resolutions (I don't think), but I did hop on the treadmill this morning, newly dedicated (I hope) to lose that extra 5(6.5) pounds, again.
I was able to listen to my podcasts with my new wireless headphones thanks to my husband.

Some knitting..........
I did finish the second fair isle hat and have started another one, this time with a provisional cast on.  I am looking for the best way to get the results that I want.  Hopefully this will be the one.

In the meantime I have started working on a vest that I had the idea for last summer!
I had swatched this fall and drew out the schematic, but finally started making it 2 days ago. 
On the left is the swatch, I realized I had to go up to a 17 needle to get the look I wanted. 
On the right you can see I have cast on and taken off. 
I love the yarn, it is Plymouth Royal Llama Linen and it will be great for all seasons.  I wish you could feel it.  I hope my vision works out.

I received a challenge this morning.  I met a friend and her teenage daughter outside our local convenience store.  The daughter happened to be wearing a sweater I had made for my friend and I didn't even remember having made it.   Anyway,  they asked if I had ever knit a shoe topper, kind of like the boot cuffs I have designed but for shoes.  I am thinking like spats, because they envisioned them with buttons.  Will I take the challenge?  We'll see...........

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fair Isle Hat

Today's sunset.

I call this Joey's hat.  I don't even know when or how the idea started, but I my son came up with a fair isle design for me to use for a basic hat.  I'm using Plymouth Encore yarn because wool ends up itching too much.  But the acrylic blend yarn would stretch out with the traditional hat design, starting with some ribbing, changing to stockinette stitch and then decreasing to the top.  The hat also just was not that warm. 

 After months on the back burner I decided to try a hat with a hem.  It solves the problem of the stretch and warmth!  However, knitting a hem creates a challenge for me the pattern writer, do I try to describe the process as if my reader has never knit a hem before or do I take it for granted that the knitter has done a hem.  Of course there is more than one way to do a hem. 

I will probably make it difficult for myself and assume the knitter has not done a hem and walk them through the process.  Being a knitting instructor, I tend to think of my patterns as instructional.  I hope this is one of the reasons people like my patterns.  You don't have to be an advanced knitter to knit most of my designs and you may just learn something along the way. 

Completely different colors give a very different look.

It took too much work for the average knitter to try to make the beginning and the end of the round look smooth.  I did a lot of duplicate stitching with the ends as I was weaving them in.  I think I will have to make the stripes 2 rows instead of 1, sorry Joe!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bedlam Manor Christmas

Bedlam Manor was a famous insane asylum in England and the summer house we lived in every summer with another family was nicknamed "Bedlam Manor".  It was the people who earned the nickname because we lived in different houses over the 20+ summers.  We did not think it was unusual to live with another family every summer, even though we didn't know anyone else who did, we thought it was perfectly normal.  I guess normal is subjective.  After all, we were knicknamed "Bedlam Monor". 
We still get together over Christmas. 

Some of us cooperated when the photographer suggested funny faces.

Below are the Englishes that were present.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Still working on a final hat pattern with Joey's fair isle design.  I want to use mostly acrylic because wool is itchy, but acrylic stretches.  I may have a winner with this design.

My boot cuffs & fingerless mitts pattern.

Some of my wares at a craft show.

The skinny scarves sold really well.

I wanted a slouchy hat, so I adapted my 2 Berets pattern, available on Ravelry.

Christmas Day

Christmas Eve making sugar cookies.

More sugar cookies.

Christmas morning.

Stockings are too heavy to hang on the mantel.

Christmas loot.

English family.

Damm family.

Henderson family.

McGuigan family.

4 generations!

Peter & Pete McGuigan and my Dad's trains.

Sarah Jeanne & Wolfie.

Sarah Jeanne and Amelia.

Christmas Decorating

Martha Stewart's tree, her design, my handiwork.
Getting started.....

Santas by the water cooler.

I love these hand painted goose eggs,
painted by a friend who soon abandoned this time consuming hobby.

Hand knit stockings by me, complete with moth holes.

Hand carved Santas.

Again, someone who abandoned her craft.

My piano Santas (and one of my Dad's paintins).

My Thai Santa, a gift from former clients in Thailand, from a previous life of my husband's.

Vintage Glass Ornaments

Trifle Bowls

Glass, glass and more glass........

Next year's Christmas card?

Mellen champagne bucket.

I love this low display of ornaments in the sunlight.

Christmas Continued

Jimmy and me at Bryant Park

Skating at Bryant Park

The "Tree" and me.

The "tree" at Rockefeller Center

Macy's window, too much glare, sorry.

Times Square.

Yes Dad, no traffic in Times Square. 

Christmas 2011

Joey and Jimmy getting the tree ready for the stand.

The tree looked  a little crooked at Del's but at home it looked really crooked!  We did our

Lights only.
Finally decorated.

I thought I was going to cut back this year, but it doesn't look like it.