Hall of Finished Projects 2016-All

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Knitting at Birthday Parties, and Other Adventures as a Mommy

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   Today I took my daughters to a birthday party today (my oldest is 8 and my youngest is 4), I did bring my knitting with me. Part of the reason why I brought it was the "just in case". The party was at a crowded bowling alley so it took a while for me to get situated somewhere that I could knit and keep an eye on both my kids to make sure they behaved (yes, I am that kind of parent, but my kids behave so I am good with it). 

  As usual, I was the only parent knitting, but as the parents were not really talking, even when I had tried to start up conversation, I decided it was best to just chill out and enjoy my time as much as I could. 

  There were multiple reasons why knitting at that time was a good thing. First of all, it was a stress- relief from the awkwardness of being around soooo many people. It can be very hard for me to deal with my stress level when there are so many people. Every single lane was being used, and there were at least 3 birthday parties going on when we got there. 


Second of all, knitting can be a great conversation starter, but not so much today so I stuck to my knitting, while I kept a close eye on my girls. 

  Than the party was made even more fun by the fact that my youngest ran up to me so excited because she had just had her turn at bowling (first time), and jumped as soon as she came over for a hug. Her jump sharply connected her hard head against my mouth, cutting my lip on my teeth, I am so relieved that my teeth did not get damaged. But I did start to bleed sharply and started to look like a vampire. 

I think it was about at that point I really, really, REALLY wanted to go home. On the plus side, I did get my lip to stop bleeding and finally got back to my Downton Abbey MKAL border (picot edging is all that is left!!)

But, hey, the kids had fun! :)

Be Well!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Double Knitting With Both Hands - Video Included

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  As some of you may know, I have been obsessed with double knitting this year, thanks to the Born of Fire MKAL that I have been participating in. So today, thanks to my friend Letycia, I finally managed to get a video made of the way I double knit, which is a little different from the typical videos that you will find on youtube.

  Most double knitting videos have you holding both colors in one hand, english style, or continental. But I fell into doing it with one color in each hand. I tend to have the main color for that side in my right and the contrast in my left. This keeps the yarn from twisting and keeps you from making careless mistakes, as well as improves your brain dexterity haha.

The video has three sections. The first explains the basic tenents of basic double knitting, two contrasting yarns. The yarn is knit up in pairs. What this means is that the first stitch is knit, the second is purled, every time, without fail. The second stitch that is purled is also always the opposite color of the knit stitch. 

The second section is with a white piece of paper as a back wash to the black yarn I am using, to make it easier for you to see.

The third section is at my house with some bulky yarn to give you another look. I hope it helps!

The idea of double knitting is successful because you keep the yarn all in the back when you do the knit stitch and all in front when you do the purls, thereby carrying the yarn between the two sides. I hope this makes sense!!

Be Well!

Monday, February 22, 2016

*Spoiler* Downton Abbey Episode, MKAL and MCAL & Born of Fire

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  Well, this week's episode was exciting!! I just KNEW that Mary was going to lay it open about Marigold, and what that would do to poor Edith. What a bitch, sorry, but true. 

    Though I have to say the show utterly avoided the realities in Berties eyes in regards to what it is really like for women. How dare he be such a snob about her fear of telling him the truth about having a child out of wedlock during that time period!! I understand he felt like he was going to be duped, but she already told him that at least Marigold was her ward. 

   As she is illegitimate, how much more does it mean with Marigold being Edith's biological child? Very snobbish and I have high hopes that the last episode will bring him around.

  So proud of Tom this episode for sticking up for how he called it against Mary. Well done!

  As I said last week, I feared that Thomas Barrow would try to kill himself and I am very relieved that they stopped him. 


  The final clues are high in picots for both crocheted and knitted versions of these projects. I have made progress on the crocheted border, but not as much on the knitted one. I have to wonder if the crochet but has poked me again, though I still prefer how knitting looks.

  I truly cannot wait to block out my crocheted project.. The MCAL will be so much fun to see!!

  One thing I will mention, if I do the MKAL pattern again, I would leave the tips of the wings on waste yarn, than pick them up again when doing the edge. That would create a seamless transition at the edge.

Born of Fire:

  I wanted to mention the Born of Fire MKAL (clues are out so fairly easy to see progress), and this project has really stolen my heart. I just adore double knitting!! And look! Color change to the dragon side of the scarf!!

Future plans:

  So what am I going to focus on next? I am hoping to find a Game of Thrones and Outlander project to have fun with, hopefully from my stash. Who is with me? What do you think? What MKAL's or MCAL's would you like to follow my progress on?

Be Well!!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Knitting Book Review & Interview: Jennifer Wood and Refined Knits: Sophisticated Lace, Cable, and Aran Lace Knitting

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Jennifer Wood of Woodhouse Knits has a new knitting book coming out this year and I am very excited about it. Refined Knits: Sophisticated Lace, Cable, and Aran Lace Knitting. You can find it on amazon or interweave.

As a non-stop knitter, one of my goals is to knit clothes that are both comfortable and fashionable. I especially am interested in building a work wardrobe of knits, but also items that are comfortable to wear. The items in this book are exactly as the title says: refined, graceful, and beautiful. And no, I am not being paid for this review :P.

Photos are from Interweave.

Jennifer was kind enough to answer some interview questions:

Where you get your inspiration?
I actually get it from different sources. Sometimes an interesting pattern I see in nature, or a stitch pattern that I find in a stitch dictionary that I play around with until I get it just right. Then sometimes I will see somebody wearing something that I think would be fun to try to knit it.

Goal for these patterns?
I love exploring patterns with cable and lace. It is like an adventure trying new ways to use them in garments even if they seam somewhat complicated at first. That is half the fun, challenging yourself with new boundaries in knitting and creating something beautiful and wearable in the process. So I would say beauty, creating a lovely, graceful garment. Fun, watching the process of it coming together on your needles. And work, trying new things even if they are hard.

Favorite yarn weight?
Not sure that I have a favorite weight but DK is probably the weight I use the most. It is small enough to fit in lots of details, but not so small that it takes forever to knit something with it.

My favorite patterns from the book are highlighted above.
1) Idril is probably my favorite for a few reasons. It strokes my geek heart with the Lord of the Rings reference, and cables cables galore!! It is in fingering weight and has my favorite type of neckline, a vneck.

2) The second picture is Victoria and is a light fingering pullover sweater. I love the delicate lace in this pullover!

3) The third strokes my cabled heart and is called Corinne, a pullover in sport. I just adore this pattern and if I wasn't in the middle of a bunch of mkal's I would be stash diving to pick some yarn for it, though I pretty sure I do not have enough sport for a sweater :(.

4) Anwen is a delicate lace wrap that would be lovely for special events such as weddings, or first dates. It is in fingering weight and the lace looks just lovely!

Some of the patterns have fading cables, which means that the cables are designed to fade into the fabric, instead of stick out sharply. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about that, with my love affair of cables, but the effect is very beautiful. What do you think?

Be Well!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

*Spoilers* Downton Abbey, MKAL/MCAL updates and the Virus that won't DIE! *Spoilers*

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Anyone else sick with the virus from hell? It's not exactly the flu, but more like a head cold that will not let up *sigh*. Well, pray for me? (joking)
  Considering a single website to have my knitting posts on one drop down and my book reviews on another.  What do you think?

Downton Abbey:

   I must say that I was most worried about Thomas Barrows this week. I know we all love to hate him, but underneath that (since I'm not married to him or stuck with him day in and day out), I feel for him. I cannot imagine the pain he must feel to be absolutely hated for something he cannot help about himself. In his way, when it comes to his sexuality, he is honorable. I was actually worried that this episode would find him attempting (or committing) suicide by hanging in his room.

  Glad to see Lord Grantham able to get out, though the car crash was dreadful, but I am happy that Lady Mary's beau was not killed and I do not blame her AT ALL for her choice to end it with him. It must have been entirely too much for her to experience that terror again.

  Poor Lady Edith, I wish she could freely shout to the world that little Marigold is her daughter, and damn the press. But I hope her beau turns out to have more sterner stuff in him than many other men and accept that part of her life. I feel for Lady Edith and want the best for her.

  Who else is keeping their fingers crossed that Anna delivers a healthy child? I wonder if we will see the wee thing during the last episode? Wouldn't that be a conclusion?

Ah well, until next week.


  Alas, I was sick most of the weekend, so what little knitting I did get done was in trying to catch up with the Born of Fire MKAL. The Downton Abbey MKAL and MCAL are slowly getting there this week, with the focus on giving them both borders, which I seem to have more fun with in crocheting than knitting. (In my best English accent) I must say, I find crocheting a delight to return too and must do more of it this year so am hunting out more non-mystery patterns to make.

Born of Fire Progress (there be flames!):


The Virus that won't die is still present, I'm exhausted but well enough to knit, read, fix my kids food, and go to work, though it exhausts me so badly I tremble sometimes from fatigue. So here is to mom's everywhere who are just trying to make it through the winter!!

Be well,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February Poststitch and "What on Earth am I Doing?"

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Poststitch Fun:

    I received my poststitch.com box for February, and it is beautiful! I am very happy that I went back to this subscription! The pattern is Dark Valentine by Ambah O'Brien, size 5US needles for the project, some fun extras (SOAK and a balm), stitch markers and, of course, the yarn in rhubarb by Joan of Arc (merino/tencel mix).

Make the sick go away!

  Too many people are still sick in my house. My youngest has been home sick since last Friday but her fevers have stopped and as of yesterday she is finally eating food again (she has been drinking all along luckily). The doctors all relay that everything going around is a virus, not bacterial, so there is very little they can do. I just hate it when my little beans are sick..

  Now I'm sick, which is awesome, though I'm well enough to knit, so well enough to work haha. Though I swear I find myself questioning what the faucet, called my nose, is hooked up to!

Awesome Cousin's:
 My cousin Libby Cudmore has published her first book "The Big Rewind" and I am so proud of her. Please check it out! She is having a signing tonight at SUNY Oneonta, but with me and my husband (who is deathly ill :P) sick my plans are thrown to the wind.

 Be Well!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

*Spoiler* Downton Abbey Episode, MKAL and MCAL *Spoiler*

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Episode Spoiler:

  Everyone in my house has been so ill the past week that I'm not sure if I watched the latest Downton Abbey late Sunday night or early Monday morning while home sick. Either way, it was not the most exciting, but seemed more of a fun one to set up this coming episode. I wish Daisy would stop getting her knickers in a twist, she is such a brat sometimes. Tom would do well to come out of his shell a bit and mingle with others, the car racing as a hobby could be fun (though the safety scares me too).

  I did not realize, or had forgotten, that Mary did not realize that Marigold was Edith's biological daughter. There is concern for what Mary will do to Edith out of jealousy when she puts two and two together. Things tend to fly out of Mary's mouth out of spite.

  Mrs. Hughes really needs to put Carson straight because he obviously does not realize how upset he is making Mrs. Hughes with his expectations of her having higher cooking skills. That would upset me and I do believe that since she hasn't addressed it yet it may blow up between the two of them, but I have faith it will work out just fine. Men really need to remember to try and NOT marry their mother's.

Downton Abbey MCAL Progress:

   As you can, hopefully see, I have caught up with the Downton Abbey MCAL. PHEW!! Partly, my problem has been that it has been a while since I have crocheted, a year or so. But partly was that the clues had so many corrections, so I don't feel too badly about my troubles.

 This past clue in particular was fairly easy-going as it simply went along from one end to the other and the scallops are lovely and fun (holy picot in this pattern haha). I look forward to being able to soak and block this out. This may very well be the very first time that I have ever crocheted something in a wool/cashmere blend yarn. The result is quite lovely. Yarn: Celestial Strings Cashmere Cloud.

Downton Abbey MKAL Progress:

I have not finished the previous clue, but as I'm feeling a little better today I will be working on it and anticipate having this wing done in no time this week. This yarn is a silk/merino mix and I'm find it a little stiff.. I wonder how it will block out. Yarn: Celestial Strings Silk Moon Fingering.

  There is an error in my garter stitch border, but I could live with it. My mistake was that on the way back, instead of knitting three (to create the garter) I purled all the way across haha. I am not planning on submitting this for competition, so I am okay with that. And every project should have a little mistake. :)


I got my new blog business cards in from zazzle.com!!! :)

I need a nap..

Be well!


Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Great Mystery Yarn Crafting Kick-Off of 2016

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The blog post on Refined Knits is postponed while I await permission to use photos, do not want to step on any legal toes!

Mystery Knit A Long Tally:

Born of Fire MKAL

The Born of Fire MKAL is going swimmingly, but slowly (I can only do 3 rows each lunch haha). As you can see the phoenix is completely done, starting in on the flames and soon the color change to blue. The yarn is super comfy from knitpicks.com (stroll fingering weight).

My gauge is a little off though. It is supposed to be 20 stitches by 28 stitches per 4 inches. Instead I am 24 stitches by 28 stitches, so the scarf is not as wide as the sample (12 inches) coming in at 9 inches. I'm good with that, though, not a huge fan of super wide scarves, and the length will be the same (or should be) so just plugging along.

New Year Mystery Shawl AKA Mandela III (Hereby referred to as: NYMS16)

This is the new shawl that I started this past Saturday with the gloss lace yarn from knitpicks.com. It is a circular/pi shawl and I used the Circular Cast-On, which is perfect for having a nice tight center that you can pull together as you knit, though you really need an odd number to cast on for it to work well.

This shawl is fun, and hopefully I will finish my first pi.

Project Distraction or Overwhelm?

With everyone sick, and my stress level in overload, I have definitely layered myself with mystery knitting and crocheting projects to try and keep me focused to some degree. In some ways it has been good and in some ways it really hasn't worked at all.

The Downton Abbey MKAL and MCAL will be over by February 21st (last Downton Abbey episode airs that day). The Born of Fire final clue is released on the 26th of February, and the NYMS16 releases its last clue on February 27th.

That gives me probably another two weeks to finish everything up and by mid-March I am free of all four (is that a silly hope? I'm not too far behind on everything in all honesty).

Of course in March there is a KAL that will start for the Refined Knits book by Jennifer Wood, so there will be that.

But folks, hold me to the vow to not pick up any more mystery yarn crafting projects this month!! I cannot take it, right? :)

Be well folks!

Monday, February 1, 2016

*Spoiler* Downton Abbey Episode, & Catching Up With MKAL and MCAL *Spoilers*

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Episode Commentary:

 As per usual, for this season, I feel that Edith is graceful and sweet and is much more at ease in her own skin. Perhaps she annoyed in the beginning when she tried to hard, and I could relate to that, but now she is settling in and the last scene where Mary knew that Edith was outshining her with their Grandmother as the person to turn too sent chills down my back. I just wish Mary would leave her alone.

  Sadly, I knew poor Lord Grantham would fall ill from that stomach ailment, they were certainly building up to it. I am just grateful that it was an ulcer, as terrifying as it was for everyone, and not cancer. Though I have a feeling that this experience will change the Dowager's opinion on modernizing the hospital.

Downton Abbey MKAL /MCAL Update:

I find the shape of both these projects fascinating! They both have the same shape, though I will admit that I just started the first wing of the MCAL, but am working hard to catch up. The MKAL is coming along beautifully and I cannot wait to see what is next!

The MKAL is progressing is farther along for the MCAL, so I cannot help but wonder how they are going to fit three more clues (eek three more episodes and Downton Abbey is over!! What are we going to do!).

Excuse the blocking, when I truly block it I will likely use wires, but I wanted to get it blocked out for you to see how it looks. And I am enjoying this and the show, all good stuff. I hope you are enjoying the show as much as I am. I promise that this weekend I will have more pictures of the MCAL.

What is to come:
In the meantime, make sure you keep an eye on the next blog post as I will be highlighting a new author, but not a so new designer named Jennifer Wood and her designs are under the auspice Wood House Knits. In March I will be doing a giveaway for her new book (once it arrives in the mail), Refined Knits: Sophisticated Lace, Cable and Aran Lace Knitwear

Be well and talk to you soon!