Nov 30, 2007

You Can Thank Me Later...Go Go Go

Knitting Daily is having a Contest for a Shopping Spree at your favorite Local Yarn Store. Go enter. I hope you win!!

Clapotis update...I'm in the decrease rows and the light is quite visible at the end of this tunnel. What is it about that segment of a pattern that just makes you fall back in love with the knitting? It must be that sense of "Oh yeah. I can totally do this."

Clapotis in Progress 003

ETA: Zeee Clapotis is FINI (ends weaved in at 4pm on Saturday...with time to spare)
Have a fantastic weekend darlings!

Nov 27, 2007

Travel Tales & Clapotis Countdown

Just a quick update to say that all is well in the (not-so) frozen north. In an event that can only be attributed to the power of a child's wish we landed safely on Thursday right in the midst of the first snow of the season. As we sat on the tarmac for an hour and a half waiting for things to be de-iced and cleared, my two little munchkins were the only ones on the plane clapping and squealing at the white powdery wonderland. Apparently the first snow fall brings about other feelings for residents here.

Travel - Day 1 016
A view from the plane just before landing

Knowing that this first snow wouldn't hang around long, we did all we could to take advantage of it. A quick thrift store stop produced ski pants for the girls to wear so that sledding and snow angels filled the major part of our first 2 days.

Winter Vacation Day3 041 Winter Vacation Day3 031
Winter Vacation Day3 032 Winter Vacation Day3 033

That can certainly wear out even the heartiest cold weather adventurer.

Naptime Day2-2

As for me - I'm fighting the urge to hibernate by committing to a very tight gift deadline. I cast on for my second Clapotis while traveling here last Thursday, and I intend to have it finished by the time we're packing up to leave on this coming Sunday. Why the rush you ask? Well, I want my darling aunty who is feeding us and putting us up all week to have something warm and woolly to remind her of our stay (and hopefully bribe her away from her plan to keep the girls here with her after we're gone, which she has already threatened to do). My calculations say I need to knit 39 rows on it per day for the next 5 days to reach this goal. Knit mojo don't fail me now!

Clapotis 2 in Progress 001 Clapotis 2 in Progress 006
Clapotis #2 in Cascade 220 HandDyed Yarn, Color is Indiana Summer
Knit on KnitPicks Circular US Size 8(5mm)
Winter Vacation Day 2 027

I hope your week is going well too! No need to send warm thoughts our way, we're quite cozy and comfortable wrapped in hand knit goodness and enjoying the blessing of uninterrupted family fun time. Well ok, some warm thoughts would be nice - if it's not too much trouble.

More pictures later this week or when we return!

Winter Vacation Day 2 028

Winter Vacation Day 2 020
Look! Islanders in the snow!

Nov 21, 2007

Each One Teach Two

**Thanks for all of your super nice comments on my last FO; you make this so much FUN**

Now for some news - Adachi has learned how to cast on and knit. Mizan has learned how to cast on and crochet a chain.

Adachi's Knitting Mizan's Crochet

I've introduced Adachi to knitting on a few occasions before, but this time I think it has really stuck. Recently both she and Mizan asked me "Mommy, will you teach me how to knit?", and "Mommy, show me how to crochet." Be still my fiber-luvin heart! I took them to the library post haste; we found some kid-friendly books (I recommend this one in particular), and we sat down and worked at it. I taught Adachi to make a slip knot, how to do the backward loop cast on, and now she's working away on garter rows for a scarf (note: she asked to start with a scarf, I would have had her working on circulars and making a sock first, but patience is a virtue...).

The Girls Start Knitting 001 Adachi Knitting The Girls Start Knitting 006 The Girls Start Knitting 007
Even Mizan got in on the lesson by helping to count stitches.

She even did a few stitches on her own winter hat for the trip:

Adachi's Ribbed Finished Nov 2007

Nature and nurture have really gone hand in hand here. Let me explain what I mean by that. See, I knit alot. Now, even though I don't have huge lacey FO's flying off the needles, and my projects are sometimes few and far between, I knit Every. Single. Day. Sick, well, at home, traveling, in the car, before bed, whenever I can. So since I work from my house, you can imagine that my girls see a whole lotta knittin' goin' on. In fact, I dread the day when someone I work with asks them what it's like having mommy working from home and they chirp joyfully "It's great! She knits all day long, and finds these nice patterns, and talks with her knitting friends". Sigh. A worry for another day. I think that exposure is the first part of the reason that they have shown such a recent interest in learning - the nurture factor; it's just part of their environment.

Part 2 is the influence of their innate creative nature. Both girls like to "make things up", my oldest especially. Like me, they enjoy taking some thing (or many somethings) and turning it into something else. Like this...

The Girls & Crafts 003 Super Saturday - Crafty Hat 2

I became even more aware that this is something that they came to the planet with when I realized that rather than wait for me to do crafty activities with them, they are perfectly content to do their own crafting using original ideas and whatever they can reach in the cupboards (hide your paper towel rolls!).

Allow me to be selfish for just a you realize how much faster my stash would be reduced with THREE knitters in the house? *Sigh* Just add this to the list of the MANY things I'm thankful for in my life.

On that note, I hope that each of you will find an Attitude of Gratitude this holiday that makes you feel way more full than any stuffing ever could. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Nov 16, 2007

Bring It

Ok winter, c'mon. Let's have it. No sense tiptoeing now...I got my wool, my needles, and my determination. So bring it!

"But Marce", I hear you saying, "Um, honey, you live in FLORIDA".

Yes, I know.

"And were born in JAMAICA".

Uh huh. Right.

"So what gives?"

Well, in a moment of what can only be described as sheer insanity brilliance, we decided that this year's family vacation spot would be Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Average temperature in November? 37.8 Degrees. Not to worry though friends, this is totally doable!! Just ask Stephanie. It's just that kind of icy weather that my knitting journey has prepared me for. The vacation planning has had my needles working overtime lately.

Here's what has come off of them most recently:

Mizan's Raglan Pullover Finished Mizan's Raglan Pullover Finished 004 Raglan Pullover Finished 009

Raglan Pullover, loosely based on the Circumnavigate Pattern from this book
Yarn - Plymouth Encore Worsted in Navy & Wedgewood
Needles - US 6, and 8 KnitPicks Options using Magic Loop method

This sweater is such an easy knit and it's my second time around. I predict I'll make several of them. It's knit from the top down and the raglan shaping is done with M1 (lifted bar) increases randomly spaced throughout the yoke. Loads of possibilities to customize it to your taste.

Next up, the
Utopia Hat from Smariek knits:
Mizan's Utopia Hat Mizan's Utopia Hat 004
Mizan's Utopia Hat 002 Mizan's Utopia Hat 003
Knit with Plymouth Encore Worsted, Walnut color
Needles - KnitPicks Options US Size 8, Magic Loop method (see a theme here?)

This hat pattern is really well done. The decreases work out so well that there is no "nipply" thingy at the top - love that. The cables are pleasing and add to the head hugging factor very well.

Modifications - I knit the starting 2x2 rib longer so that there is no flaring when the cables start. Since this was for my little one, I did 4 repeats of the lower cables and only 2 repeats of the upper cables. Another benefit to knitting in the round on one loooooong 60" circular needle is that I was able to slide the unfinished tube onto the cable and try it on her as I went along so I knew just went to start the decreasing for the crown. I'm very happy with the fit, and so is she!

We head north in one week, and there are more knits to come. What about your winter woolens? I know some of you live in places where heavy fibers are a must! I've got to tell you, I almost envy you (House swap next year?? I'm in!). For those of you who don't knit, but you're starting to feel Jack Frost nipping at your nose, I suggest you befriend a knitter. Quickly. You won't be sorry.

Nov 7, 2007

We Speak Their Names

Jaeger Baby Merino DKI've talked before about my desire to stay more in the present and to acknowledge things (especially the good things) as they are happening. I'm more naturally a past and future dweller, and sometimes that means missing out on the full potential of some feeling or experience. Like most things that are positive, I think this effort to be more aware of the Right Now becomes that much better when it's shared and multiplied. This is where you come in....

HandMaiden_OttawaI thought the other day about all the people that I have met in the last 2 years just because I went into the library one day and came out with a stack of books about knitting. There are people now that I call friends, and when we first met, knitting was the only thing that we knew we had in common. Now, several stitches later, I can say with certainty that my life is better because I have them in it. I would never have guessed that a "hobby" could bring that to my life, but it has, and that deserves some moments of focused gratitude.

Yarn 009One way to honor someone or something in your life is to speak or write about it, and by doing so, you give it a place in your thoughts and in your experience for that moment. So I'm going to list out here (in no specific order) the names of the people that I have met because I knit. By making this list, I mean to say "thank you" to them and "welcome to my life". I can hardly count the many many Internet and blog friends I have made, so for now this list is only of those I have met in person and that I have spent time with in these last two years. When you read this list - and I hope you do - you too will be acknowledging these people and the good that they have added to my life experiences. After that, why not make YOUR list of names in the comments and enjoy a few moments of remembering those people, and what you have shared with them because of this great love of fiber and needles.

Kathy, Sarah, Cindy, Deborah, Maureen, Sean, Shelley, Jody, Robin, Becky, Sharon, Tanya, Rochelle, Judy, Nan, Nancy, Sharlene, Suse, Wendy, Gabrielle, Pam, Kelly, Karen, Andrea, Angelia, Julie, Vickie, Hilde, Michelle

As I think about more of these names and the memories that go with them I will keep adding to this list. I hope you'll do the same.

A special THANKS goes out to Deborah today for letting me know that our gathering place here has been featured in Black Purl Magazine. What a treat!