Monday, April 30, 2007

Chicks and Sticks

You thought I was kidding didn't you? Yes we have chicks. 60 to be exact. (So far none have died.) But wait don't get too attached, at least to the yellow ones. They are for eating 6 weeks, and they will be gone. The blackies are egg layers though so you can name them once they're older. They're cute now aren't they? Nolan just looked and said, "wow!" over and over again. Then he tried to pull a chickie's head off. Chortling the whole time. Babies, what can you do?

Then we went out exploring and found this. Which promted me to find...

this in my stash. I have been aware of this yarn for a while but have been fully obsessed with figuring out my secret project and trying to finish Kyle's sweater. This is on the radar though. It is Malabrigo in Vaa. It will become the Asymmetrical Cardigan from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaugahan. I can't wait! Hopefully soon as I think I had a break through with the secret project today and may have figured out the worst of my problems on it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Secret project

Isn't this a cozy looking morning activity? This is a project I can't tell you all about yet as it is the beginning of my first original sweater design. I am using the yarns below as samples to try out different techniques, there's a trick with the sleeves I'm trying to get just right. The brown/natural yarn is Lion Brand, Wool-Ease in Wood. The blue is Knit Picks, Wool of the Andes in Blueberry. I bought that color and it wasn't quite what I thought is was when it came in the mail. So I am still looking for the right project to use that up in. I found some Lambs Pride yarn on a bargain website that is soooooo beautiful but I just can't afford it. I may have to buy one skein to satisfy the yarn addicted neurons in my brain.

That is my very favorite coffee cup next to my knitting. (Thank you Jess) Yes it does say Yarn Ho.

We went to book club last night. I haven't been in ages and it was fun! We read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is a memoir, initially I didn't realize that and wow! That woman had quite the childhood. You should read it, we all really enjoyed it.

Hello Ladies!! Thanks for letting me take your picture.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Knitting Art

It occurred to me the other day that I'm an artist. Somehow knitting has not meant art to me. Growing up, I took art classes in high school and college, but nothing really grabbed my interest the way knitting has. Watercolors, ceramics and drawing never felt like something I was good at. My brother and sisters were always more artistic than I was, as far as I could see. Something about pulling yarn through loops with sticks just makes sense in my head. I love to watch the patterns emerge or the shape of a sock heel appear where before was nothing but sticks and string. Simple. To me anyway. Now that I'm older, I realize that I'm pretty good at knitting and anyway I really like to do it.

Some of my friends say they wish they could knit like me. I always think and say, "You can, it's easy." Maybe it's not as easy to them as I think, but really I can't think of a single reason anyone couldn't learn to knit anything they want with enough practice. Those who say they can't learn to knit, maybe haven't had good teachers or as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee says, "They're doing it wrong." :)

Almost any other art requires some kind of natural skill, an eye for what is pleasing to others. The only skill knitting requires may be an ability to put colors together and I know of one person who is an excellent knitter despite being a bit "color challenged". She still knits beautiful things and I always love the colors she picks. So anyone can be an artist if they knit. And anyone can learn to knit. Kids can learn as early as 4 or 5 years old. I'm sure someone out there has taught their child at an earlier age than that. My only regret is that I did not learn earlier in life. I started around age 23 and some days lament all the lost knitting time I missed out on, not learning when I was young. I had grandma's who knit but they didn't think to show me how. Had I known how much I would love it I would have made them teach me everything they know.

All I know is, knitting fulfills a need in me to create something beautiful. Nothing else in my life fills that need so I knit. I knit when I'm sad, I knit when I'm worried and I knit to show my loved ones how much I love them. What other hobby has that ability? Each of my creations has a story behind them. I can pick up something I made and think about what was going on at that point in my life. They weave my life experiences into their rows as they grow. The purple shawl was knit many night shifts while I was waiting for a patient to come in and finished on my trip to Isabella to cross country ski with our good friends. I made socks for my dad for Christmas, all the while I thought about how much he would like them on his walks around the lake by his house and how much I love him. Maybe that is what makes it art for me.

Here's my three best creations and inspiration, enjoying a treat.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Revisiting Robin Hood

Here is an old project started a few years back for my oldest Kyle. It is called the Robin Hood Jacket from Adorable Knits for Tots by Zoe Mellor. I'm using the Bernat Softee Chunky yarn again on this project. I am determined to get this done for him and once I picked it back up I really like knitting this. I don't remember why I put it down in the first place. Maybe it was to finish Christmas presents. I think he will look quite handsome in this once its done. Hopefully he will think so too. He's mostly into Pokemon now rather than cables. At least I started this in the largest size so it should still fit.

I am anxiously awaiting birthday party supplies and new books ordered online. Sadly no new yarn was ordered due to the recent dig through the stash. That seriously curbs my ability to order more yarn when I do that. That's why I try not to dig through it too often unless I'm looking for a specific yarn. Happily B has no idea the true extent of the stash size or I would be harrassed more often about my spending habits.

Gotta go make dinner!

PS Happy 30th B.F. Love your sis.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I finished it!! I think she looks like Little Red Riding Hood in this. I took these before blocking so we could see how it fit. Monica can't wait to be able to wear the poncho which makes me really happy. We all know what it's like to make something for someone who doesn't want to wear it or doesn't appreciate the idea of a handmade gift.

Kids are especially tough because no matter how much we want them to do everything we say, they will have a mind of their own.

My next big project to finish is for Kyle,a green cabled sweater which buttons down for outside. I'm using the same yarn as the poncho for that,(Bernat Softee Chunky) I like it for kids projects because it holds up well,acrylic is nearly indestructable. I am also currently working on a pair of socks, and planning to make a couple of baby hats for girls at work who are expecting.

Ugg! I gotta wash off that wall!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Shawl info (for the knitters)

The cream shawl is a triangular shape with a lace edging which would be knit then sewn on. I have Saucy Sport yarn which is 100% mercerized cotton. I was knitting it in straight stockinette stitch but this was knit when I was still twisting my stitches. That is a story for another day.

Spring cleaning

This was my project today. Half of our bedroom is used for my craft area and recently was moved back in. Obviously it was not cleaned up much but simply tossed into the room willy-nilly so we could clean up another area. I decided today that enough was enough.

In the process I found this project I bought when Kyle, my oldest was a baby which makes this about 6 1/2 years old. I think its time to either finish this or use the yarn for something different.

Here are my helpers for the day enjoying a basket ride. Monica really wants to learn to knit and I think I will have to try teaching her soon. Nolan was pleased as punch to throw my balls of yarn around when he could get a hold of one.

The finished product. Doesn't it look nice? I am excited to have a cleaned up space to create and imagine in.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I made this dishcloth while at a class on breastfeeding for work. It was a very interesting class for any nurses out there, lots of good information, the speaker was Molly Pessel. I highly reccommend going to one of her lectures!

This is a small shawl I made this winter and the new shawl pin I found at a local store. I think it looks really nice with this shawl. P.S. -I LOVE purple!

I am so close to being done with the poncho I can almost taste it. Too bad, work and kids have to get in the way of good knitting time :) Here's an updated picture of where I'm at. Pretty huh?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I tried!

I tried to post pictures tonight but am having trouble getting them to show. I saw a note about maintenance on the blog site main page so I will try tomorrow to post pictures. Monica's poncho is almost done!!
I have been busy working and having sick kids, Kyle (age 6) needed to go to the ER last night with tummy pains. So far it sounds like a virus but am watching him closely. He had pains again tonight but it subsided quicker than last night and no fever. Hopefully it means he's on the mend. Whew! I am tired!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Poncho progress

The poncho is coming along I may have it done by tonight or tomorrow at the latest. I will post a picture as soon as it is done and Monica will try it on. Worked nights all weekend so will post again after I sleep!

Friday, April 13, 2007

The sport of knitting

Being the mother of 3 kids and a nurse part time means I am constantly fighting with myself about what I should be doing at any moment. Do I clean up the living room? Which leads to the kitchen and then the bathroom and then to cleaning out cupboards, ect... Do I play a game with my kids or take them to the library? Or do I take a moment to knit a few rows on my latest projects? Striking a balance between "me" time, kid time, and work is tough. My husband still struggles with the idea that most days I would rather knit than anything else (yeah its that much of an obsession). I tell him often that what fishing is for him is knitting for me. Somehow that doesn't seem to help him understand how I feel about it. Having recently gotten back from seeing Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee talk in St. Paul, MN, I am fired up about the "sport" of knitting. Because if you ask me, knitting is a sport just like fishing or hunting. In Northern Minnesota fishing is almost a required skill for guys. Not that there aren't women who fish too and enjoy it, but I think probably 90% of men up here fish. So my point is, that men need to start looking at knitting like it's fishing.

For example, guys spend a large amount of time looking at and buying lures, fishing poles and rods. The price of these items is most often not a consideration to them. On the other side I know myself and my friend Jess spend a majority of our time looking at and thinking about patterns, yarn and needles. Many times I have justified the cost of such things for the sake of my sport.

Fishermen will take whole weekends away from family to go fish that new lake they heard about with "big walleyes". I recently got off work early, spent the night away from my family, and traded a shift to work on a Friday so I could go see The Yarn Harlot speak. What's different about that?

Fishermen can spend HOURS in a sporting goods store, HOURS. I would live at the yarn store if I thought I could afford it.

Lastly, men spend a lot of time in pursuit of the ever elusive "Big One". Knitters will always have some new yarn or technique or needles to try.

So when my husband tries to tell me I am wasting my time knitting, I simply reply, " No more than you do when you go fishing , Dear."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Poncho Villa

These pictures were taken on the dash of my van yesterday in the Twin Cities. Note the snow through the windsheild, in April!! I'm working on a poncho for my daughter Monica using a Lopi pattern with an acrylic yarn by Bernat. Yeah it's not wool or any other kind of nice fun material, but I want her to wear it. She is a bit picky about how clothes feel (small understatement). I like the fun bright colors in this project. Hoepfully she likes it when its done.

Monday, April 9, 2007

First posting

Welcome to my blog! This is my first ever post and blog. I thought I would show you the sweater I knit for my youngest son, Nolan. I made this sweater and hat set with a pattern from called the elf hat (I think). And the sweater pattern was from there as well but I added the leaf pattern from the hat to the bottom of the sweater to tie them together. I used Lion Brand sportweight yarn so its washable and durable. I loved how the colors changed gradually through out the sweater. This was my first entry in a county fair and I won!! 3 ribbons!! I was SHOCKED. Needless to say the pressure is on for future entries.