First Day of Spring

Hello Everyone,

Today is the first day of Spring, although it really does not feel like it, there is a brisk cool breeze.  After almost 3 weeks of 70 and 80 degree weather the high for the last 3 days has been in the 50’s.  Good thing I am knitting a sweater, I might actually even get to wear it this year.  Although I kind of hope not.  As much as I love that sweater, I am really starting to look forward to warm weather, light flawy clothes and gardening.

Speaking of sweater, I am still working on the Summer Dawn cardigan.  That little blurp that I had that I mentioned last time, turned into a full scale surgery.  I took a second then third look at the lace pattern and saw that the pattern itself was completely off horribly wonky.  I ended up taking the sweater out past the blurp and now its fabulous.  I am working my way to the hem of the cardigan and I must say, I do love the way it is turning out.  From the fiery orange look of the yarn while it was still a skein, I was actually afraid the color would be much to bright, but really, it is not.  The color of the fabric is this beautiful sunset orange, yellow, pink and red.  It really does remind me more of a sunset than a dawn.

While I sill may be knitting the Summer Dawn cardigan, I just finished reading Clara Parkes new book Knitlandia.  I LOVED this book.  I have been a fan of Clara Parkes KnittersReview.com since I began reading it in 2009 and I own all of her other books.  Her attention to deal and illustrative descriptions of yarn and wool are nothing short of compelling.  Knitlandia is her tales of traveling the world with the rest of the knitting community to Knitting conventions and retreats as well as wool festivals.  Some of these festivals I already have been to myself, the others I felt like I was there just from her descriptions.   So if you haven’t read this book yet, you must! Immediately!

Ok, It almost time for dinner so I am leaving you now. I will talk to you all soon.

Happy first day of Spring.

-Alexis

 

70 Degrees in February

Hello Everyone!

It is 70 degrees in February!  I can’t believe it.   I’m a little scared.  Where is the snow? The frost?  I was at Home Depot today and people were buying flowers, I’m thinking this is Oklahoma, we have at least 3 more freezes and 5 tornadoes before I will feel like it is safe to plant anything.  It is beautiful though and I will take advantage of it.

The nights are still cool though, and its nice to cuddle up in a blanket and knit.  I am now working on the Summer Dawn cardigan by Andrea Black and knitting it with Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in the colorway Peach Melba. I don’t know why this color is called Peach Melba.  It is more like fire orange.  It really does remind me more of a campfire than peaches.  It has orange, light orange, bright red, dark red.  A beautiful medley, I really should rename my version of Summer Dawn, Summer Sunset since that is what the colors remind me of, campfires and sunsets.

The pattern itself is not bad, its a bit of a challenge. There are a lot of “at the same times” so you really have watch what you are doing.  The cardigan is knit from the top down and I am almost to the Body Shaping and still growing my sleeves before I separate them.  While it is a bit challenging that you have to really pay attention with all the “at the same times,” the pattern also is a bit potato chippy.  I don’t want to put it down.  I also dropped a like 10 stitches on the back lace section last night so now I am watching it to make sure it’s back on track.  There is a bit of a flub but I think its getting back on track.  I hope……

As promised, I have my Perfect Retreat Shawl blocked and pictures taken, so here it is.

Perfect Retreat Shawl
Perfect Retreat Shawl

Well, that is about it for today. I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Lets Get Caught Up

Hello There!  I have missed you guys!

First of all, Happy Valentines Day everyone!  Second, I am sorry I have been away for so long.  I was still working on Christmas knitting and didn’t want write about it until I had shipped it off.  I also had to take a break from my Christmas knitting to knit baby gifts.

First on to the last Christmas gift, I knit Bouquet Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from her book Toe Up Socks for Everybody, I knit these from Lisa Souza Bouncy fingering weight yarn that I purchased at Rhinebeck and they were lovingly knit for my Aunt Mary.  She texted me to last week after she received them in the nicest thank you I could have received.  She lives in South Dakota so I know she will put them to good use.

Bouquet Socks
Bouquet Socks for Aunt Mary

I also knit another Big Bad Baby Blanket and Baby Tea Leaves Cardigan for my friend who just had a lovely baby girl the other day.  I know the cardigan will look so cute on her and the soft lovely yellow of the blanket is very chic for a Chicago baby.  The blanket was knit with Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Cornmeal and the sweater was knit with Knit Picks Hawthrone sport multi in the colorway Sellwood. Whenever I am knitting baby gifts for friends I do really like to use Knitpicks as it affordable, very high quality, durable and most important, machine washable.  I have not yet met a new mother that has time to hand wash.

Big Bad Baby Blanket
Big Bad Baby Blanket
Baby Tea Leaves Cardigan
Baby Tea Leaves Cardigan

In the meantime, I also managed to finish a shawl for myself. The Perfect Retreat Shawl by Susan B. Anderson. I started this shawl before I went to Rhinebeck and worked on a bit there but as soon as I got back it was full speed ahead on the gift knitting.  I finally finished it on Friday!  I is block now and I should have pictures for you next week. I knit it out of Knit Picks Hawthrone fingering in the colorway The Pearl.  It really is an easy shawl, just like Susan B. Anderson says. The first part is mindless garter stitch with increases, you can watch tv or talk to your friends at a retreat. The second part is a little more involved lace, but not too much. I managed to work on this while binging on Downton Abbey.

 

Ok, well, now I have you caught up.  I will report next week on progress from my current project which just barely on the needles. As it is Valentines day, I must go get ready for my V-Day date with my Hubby.  He is my Valentine everyday!

See you next time and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Gift Knitting Part 1

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a Happy and Safe New Year!  May your 2016 be your best year yet!

The holidays may be over, but I am still gift knitting.  I may have bitten off more than I could chew this year.  I also had some surprise gift knitting I had to get done.  More on that in a later post.

I was however, successfully able to send 3 Christmas gifts off and they were all very well loved by the recipients.

The first was a pair of socks for my dear Mother-in-Law.  I knit her a pair of Heart to Heart Socks from Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, by Wendy D. Johnson.  I knit these socks out of Lisa Souza Bouncy Hardtwist Petite in the colorway Persephone, a beautiful vibrant royal blue.  My mother-in-law LOVED them!  She hasn’t even worn them yet, she has however shown them off to all her friends who also knit.  That makes me feel good, but I hope when she does wear them, she loves the way they feel.

Heart to Heart Socks for my Mother-in-Law
Heart to Heart Socks for my Mother-in-Law

I also knit a pair of socks for my mom.  I knit her the Crocus Socks, also from Toe-Up Socks for Every Body,   This is a second addition to Wendy’s book, Socks from the Toe-Up, that I have knit my way through.  Yes, I will be starting to knit my way through this one as well and will further review the book and patterns later.  I knit my mom’s socks in Lisa Souza Bouncy Hardtwist Petite in the colorway Fifi.  It is multi-colored, pink, blue, yellow and brown.  My mom is very creative and an artist and loves bright colors and she loves these socks.  It makes me feel good when the people I knit for truly appreciate what I knit for them.

Crocus Socks for my Mom
Crocus Socks for my Mom

The final projet I was able to ship before Christmas was a hat for my Aunt, I knit her the Pebbled Beanie by Elisabeth Parker as published in Weekend Hats, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  I also knit this out of another skein Lisa Souza Bouncy Hardtwist Petite in the colorway Persephone.  My Aunts favorite color is blue so I thought she would love this and luckily I was right.  She was also able to use her new hat on Christmas morning and the day after as she shoveled snow.  I know she wasn’t happy about having to shovel snow, but at least her head was warm.

Pebbled Beanie for my Aunt.
Pebbled Beanie for my Aunt.

A note on the yarn, I do love Lisa Souza and try to get her yarns whenever I see them.  They are so well spun and dyed.  The colors are so bright and fabric from the hard twist that I used is drapey yet sturdy. Just what I am looking for in hats and socks. Its a comfy fabric but nice and warm and durable. I also purchased this yarn at Rhinebeck 2015 when I was there with the recipients of these items in mind.  I stayed in the Lisa Souza booth because I wanted them all to have similar type yarn and there was so much variety of colors it was easy to pick for everyone.

Anyway, I must make dinner and continue knitting my last Christmas (Valentine’s Day) knitting project.  Also, Season 6 of Downton Abbey premiers tonight so I better be glued to the couch and TV by then to watch.

I will talk to you soon!

Happy Knitting everyone!

LYS and Christmas Cheer

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all surviving the holiday’s.  I love Christmas, I love this time of year but every year, it just comes right at me in a huge expensive ball of stress and anxiety.  But I think I am done for the most part.  I have all my gifts knitted and shipped and my Christmas shopping as of this morning is DONE!!!!  Phew!

Yes, I knit 3 Christmas gifts this year and I will tell you all about them and show pictures after Christmas.

Another reason why I love this time of year and I know this will make me sound like a spoiled 6 year old but I don’t care, is my birthday is on the 11th.  Exactly 2 weeks before Christmas.  This year, my WONDERFUL Husband surprised me with a weekend trip of one of my favorite cities, Chicago.  We had an amazing time. We saw friends, shopped on Michigan Ave and saw all the Christmas lights and decorations and on Saturday, we went Yarnify (click on the name for their website) on Polk St.  It is a fabulous LYS in a funky neighborhood.  I love this store and will for sure visit every time I am back in Chicago.  All the yarn is divided by weight in rooms. DK in one room, fingering in another, etc., and all the ladies working there are more than happy to show you around or just chat about yarn or anything else with you. There are even comfy chairs for tired and patient husbands.  I had limited room in my suitcase to buy too much yarn but I did walk away with a skein of MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in Hasta Blue and Jilly Lace Dream in Poppy.  I think this may be like my 2nd skein of lace yarn and have no idea what I am going to do with it but I couldn’t resist the color.  Yarnfiy also has a downstairs with classrooms, roving and books.  My feet were killing me from walking all morning so I did go down, sit and look at their amazing selection of books.  Like I said before, next time I am in Chicago I will definitely go again and I think you should all go as well, you will be in for a treat in the middle of an already fabulous city.

Well, I am home now and we are a week from Christmas, I am trying to take it easy as all my decorating, shopping and knitting is done.  Now I can do some selfish knitting for a bit and put my feet up and enjoy this holiday season.  I hope you are all doing the same.  Remember what Bing Crosby said, it is the most wonderful time of the year.

Have a very safe and Happy Holiday and I will talk to you soon.

-Alexis

Relaxed, Rested and Ready for the Holidays

Hello Everyone!

The hubs and I just returned from a vacation up in Michigan to visit family and friends.  We had a great time and both really needed this time off.  We are now relaxed and rested and ready for the holiday season!

While on vacation, I was able to get some quality gift knitting in. I have four people I am gift knitting for this year and just finished one gift today.  I am proud to say it is now blocking.  Three more gifts to go. Ekk?!?!  Really what is stressing me out is that all four of these gifts need to be shipped So its to like I can I still be working on these on Christmas Eve.

So what am I knitting for gifts you might ask?  I will tell you after Christmas.  Some of the recipients know what they are getting but they don’t know all the details, color, pattern, etc. so no.  I am not telling you until after Christmas.

Well.  I better get knitting on gift number two. I will talk to you all soon and everyone have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving.

-Alexis

Rhinebeck Memories

Hello Everyone!

It has been exactly one week since Rhinebeck and I have been recovering, re-living all the wonderful memories and enjoying my new yarn ever since.

Rhinebeck was INCREDIBLE!!!!  I loved every second and it was everything I thought and heard it would be and more.

My Rhinebeck journey started at 3:30 a.m. Central Time on Friday morning as I rose to make my way to the airport to catch my 6:30 flight to St. Louis and then it was off to Newark!  Upon arrival in Newark, I’m not gonna lie, I was giving myself a pep-talk. I was about to drive my rental car through the unfamiliar and busy city of Newark, I was a little scared.  Of course my GPS had other plans, before I knew it I was driving over the George Washington Bridge and into The Bronx.  I have always wanted to go to NYC but this was not how I wanted to do it and not a time to look around at the skyscrapers.  I was SCARED!!!  But I did good.  Honestly, once I was over the bridge, traffic was fine.  The traffic in The Bronx wasn’t that bad and once I got out of the city it was like I was a million miles away, surrounded by golden trees.

Ok, skip to that evening in Kingston, NY at the Indie Untangled Trunk Show.  Wow!  There was a line to get in!  It was amazing, all the vendors were independent dyers and spinners.  In fact, I think I will devote a whole other blog post just to the Indie Untangled show so stay tuned.  There is just to much to say.

Greetings from #rhinebeck2015

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If you have never been to Rhinebeck, you need to go!  Book your hotel now because they book up fast and go!  If you have been to Rhinebeck, then you know everything I am about say. Rhinebeck, is like Comic Con for knitters.  Everyone is wearing their Rhinebeck sweaters and other hand knits. Myself, in addition to my Gnarled Oak Cardigan, was also wearing my Maine Morning Mitts and my Greenery Beret in the morning to beat the morning chill.  I have also never see so many crowds in my life.  If you are not into crowds, go to Rhinebeck on Sunday.  So many wonderful vendors, including of course, Miss Babs, Liza Souza and Bijou Basin Ranch but others that I just discovered, including Sweiters Fiber Mill, I swear I have purchased from them before. SinsAndNeedles89/Primrose Pottery, ( I got a beautiful hand dyed skein of sock yarn and a hand sewn project bag.  She dyes and sews everything herself and also makes and handpaints yarn bowls with TV and movie characters)  I also purchased some worsted weight yarn from Buckwheat Bridge Angoras who grow and make the yarn on their farm in the Hudson Valley using solar and wind energy.  I got a skein of fingering yarn in Angora and Romney from Gravers Dream and some soft colorful yarn from The Periwinkle Sheep. I love the colors on this yarn, Bold grays and greens.  Not sure yet what I will do with it, the color way is called “Grass in a Crack in the Sidewalk.”

I got so much yarn, I had to ship some home, most of the yarn was for me yes, but some I did get for Christmas knitting.  I honestly can’t wait to cast on my Rhinebeck yarn.  I had a wonderful time.  The food was great (Artichokes French are everything they say they are) I bought a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes region I have yet to open.  I made some great new friends and even met some old friends up there and we walked around and explored Rhinebeck further.  She just lives in the city and comes every year so she gave me some tips to remember for next time.  Like Sunday’s are much quieter.

My haul from the day. Not too bad.#rhinebeck2015

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The town of Rhinebeck is also so cute.  I left the fair at about 3 on Saturday and spent the rest of the evening walking around Market Street in Rhinebeck and had a lovely dinner at a restaurant called The Local.  I thought about the Terrapin but The Local got great reviews from locals I talked to.

I left the fair on Sunday after giving half my haul to the UPS tent that was set up with nothing but wonderful memories of my weekend. I will definitely go again.

If you went to Rhinebeck let me know what you thought? Did you buy a ton of yarn?  Have you never been but want to go?  Let me know!

Talk to you all again soon.

-Alexis

All In The Family

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I didn’t post last week,  my Mom and my Aunt Mary were in town.  We had so much fun.  Since Bob and I bought our house last February, my mom decided to drive down and bring me all my old stuff. It has been a walk down memory lane looking through it all.  Anyway, my Aunt Mary came with her and they had a great road trip by themselves but I think we all had a great time here in OKC.

For a long time, I have been wondering where I get this knitting from.  I am a self taught knitter and no one in my family really knits as actively as I do. One night while my family was in town my aunt was watching me knit and she mentioned something about when she was teaching her daughter (my cousin) to knit.  I never knew my aunt knew how to knit.  She said she learned from her sister (my other aunt) who learned from her grandmother who probably just learned as a child because that is what you did on the farm in the turn of the century.  I never knew.  So I guess this knitting of mine is really just all in the family.

Also while my family was in town, I finished the Van Dyke socks.  I just know put them on sock blockers.  They are nice and long and cozy. Perfect for cold winter nights.

Van Dyke Socks
Van Dyke Socks

Also, the other night, I went to the Oklahoma State Fair and stumbled upon alpaca yarn that is raised 30 minutes from my house. I love that!  The company is called Mustang Alpaca after the town it is from.  It is worsted weight and 150 yards so I really have no idea what I am going to do with it but I am excited and will let you know.

Mustang Alpaca
Mustang Alpaca

Well, that is all I have for today.  I will talk to you all again soon.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Hexi-Puffs on the Road

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying your Labor Day weekend. I am so glad to have an extra day.  I had a race yesterday in Kansas City (ok, Overland Park, Kansas)  Its about 5 hours from OKC and not a bad drive.  Of course on the drive I had to have some road knitting.  And what did I knit? Hexi-Puffs of course.  I got 11 done on my trip.  The night before I had Bob randomly pull 3 balls of yarn out of my hexi-puff yarn bag. Two of the balls he pulled I have had in that bag since I began making Hexi-puffs 3 years ago and for some reason those are the ones I automatically pull out of that bag every time, even though I never look at what yarn I am pulling out.  I like to be random that way.  Well, I did manage to use up one of those balls on the trip, the other ball  still has a few hexi-puffs left in it.  We are going on another road trip this weekend. I wonder if I will end up pulling that one out of the bag? I will let you know.

My race went well by the way, it was hilly and hot!  When I think of Kansas I do not think of hills but there were hills. But it was a good race, I think I did really well.

Besides road trip knitting, I have a pair of socks on my needles at home.  I am knitting the Van Dyke Socks from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson. Yes, this is the sock books I am knitting my way through,and I am almost done. I am on the last chapter, Sportweight Socks. So yes, these socks are knit in sport weight yarn. I am knitting these with Baah! La Jolla Original Hand Painted yarn in the Chocolate Cherries colorway. It is a bright red yarn with flecks of black throughout. This yarn is 100% Superwash Merino and wonderful to knit with and is making a thick cozy fabric.  It is a little knotty though but they are easy enough to get out.  I am right now working on the gusset for the first sock.

Well, that is all I have for today. Everyone enjoy the rest of your Labor Day!

Happy Knitting,

-Alexis

Big Bad Blankets and Shawls

Hello Everyone!  Happy Sunday!  I have been quite productive this week.

First of all, I finished my special project and delivered it.  My co-worker is having a baby and we held a baby shower for her this last week.  I knit her the Big Bad Baby Blanket.  I have knit this several times for several babies, it is such a simple blanket, not only simple to make but simple in look so it will go with any nursery decor or what ever style the parents have.  And most important, it is soft.  Well, that depends on the type of yarn you use.  But when knitting anything for a baby, it MUST be soft, and washable.  When I knit for adults, I usually give care instructions, mostly, hand wash cold, lay flat to dry.  Knowing (hoping) the recipient will take care of their hand knit gift. But with babies.  It is inevitable, they are going throw up on this lovingly hand knit item, and mom does not have time wash this by hand.  So yes, washable soft yarn.  I think every time I have knit this it has been with KnitPicks Swish Worsted.  It is a soft washable yarn that gets softer with each washing.

Big Bad Baby Blanket by Lisa Shobhana Mason
Big Bad Baby Blanket by Lisa Shobhana Mason

This is the point where I would post a picture of the blanket, but in my excitement to give this to my co-worker, I forgot to take a picture. So here is a picture of the same blanket I gave to another baby.

Yesterday, I finished the Yowza Weigh it Shawl.  This has got to be the longest shawl I have ever knit.  I also used almost all of the yarn.  You can see the tiny scrap of yarn I had left after that big ball.  I will try to post another picture of the shawl but here it is fresh out of the sink blocking.

All thats left from my big ball of yarn.
All that’s left from my big ball of yarn.

I think I am going to knit a pair of socks.  More on that next week.  Until then, have a great week and happy knitting everyone.

-Alexis

Yowza Weigh it Shawl
Yowza Weigh it Shawl