Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and that the coming year is one of your best ever.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Advent Box - The Finale

The month has certainly passed by quickly and it's hard to believe that it is Christmas tomorrow.  All the presents have been wrapped and today I'll be making cranberry sauce and preparing the ingredients for stuffing.  Tomorrow I'm heading to my daughter's house to spend time with her, my son-in-law, 3 grandkids and my daughter's in-laws.  I'm looking forward to it.

I've opened the last envelope in the Advent Box.  To wrap up the 24 days is a recipe for Teresa Barone's Almond Biscotti along with a nice story about where the recipe came from.  I'll definitely be giving this recipe a try.

Excuse the reflected light on the recipe card.
I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.  I'll share with you a gorgeous picture from my good friend and someone I think of as a sister, Bonnie.  I hope that you'll come back and visit Rhythm of the Needles again on January 1st.  I'm going to relax and take a bit of a break from blogging for the coming week. I may even finish a knitting project or two.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Coal for my Stocking and a Kep

The elves at River City Yarns must think that I've been naughty this year as I found a bag of coal in the Advent Box today.  Of course, if the coal is actually cinnamon hard candy, I can't say that I mind.

I have finally finished a project that I started months ago.  Actually, the knitting was completed many months ago and I've only just attached the pompom.  I've combined a very traditional fair isle pattern with a modern furry pompom.  I couldn't resist it, or the color.

The Kep pattern comes from the island of Fair Isle.  It was designed by a local knitter, Anne Sinclair, and offered as a knitalong project for members of the Facebook group "The Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep" only.  You have to ask to join the group, but once you do you'll see some beautiful examples of fair isle knitting.  The proceeds from the sale of the pattern go to help support the George Waterston Memorial Museum on Fair Isle.

It impresses me that an island with only about 55 inhabitants has a museum.  To me, it shows how proud they are of their home and culture.

Here is my Fishermen's Kep.  It was a very good knitting experience.  The hardest part was trying to decide what colors to use.  Traditionally, five are used.  I decided to make the hat to go with a pair of mittens I made last year, adding two extra colors.


Pattern:  Fishermen's Kep by Anne Sinclair

Needles:  US #2 / 2.75 mm 
and US #2-1/2 / 3.0 mm

Size:  One size

Yarn:  All Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight
Purchased at the Jamieson & Smith shop in Lerwick, Shetland

Gray #27
Blue / Green Mix #FC34MIX
White #1A
Fuschia #43
Dark Blue #FC41

Ravelry link:  Fishermen's Kep

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fair Isle Sweaters - Start to Finish

I'm getting down to the last of the Advent Box surprises.  The month has passed by quickly.  Today I found a little tin of "anywhere BALM", just the right size to pop into my knitting bag.

It's no secret among those who know me that I'm more than a little enamored with everything to do with knitting in Shetland.  I feel very fortunate to have enjoyed two wonderful visits to this fabulous place.  It's not just the knitting that draws me in, but the people and scenery, too.  I just like it all so much.

I have a LOT of Shetland wool - and some Shetland-type wool, such as that from Harrisville Designs.  Some of the wool I bought myself.  Most of it, however, was given to me by very, very generous friends:  P, M, J and P.  Thank you ladies.  I've have many projects that I want to make and look forward to jumping right in after the new year. 

I saw this short video about sweaters from Fair Isle, one of the Shetland Islands.  I found it to be very interesting.  By the way, did you know that the island of Fair Isle has a population of only about 55. 
I'll have a little more about Fair Isle in my next  post and well as a finished object.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

BAA Humbug

Today there was a very nice surprise in the Advent Box.  A long time ago I downloaded a pattern for the Bluebird of Happiness.  I intended to make it for my Christmas tree.  Well, other projects came along and it was forgotten.  Today, in the box, was a link to the pattern and enough yarn to make 3 birds.  I'll have a bluebird or two or three on my Christmas tree next year.

And speaking of surprises....

If you want to buy clothes, do you think of going to Bed, Bath & Beyond?  Me neither.  I stopped in last night after work and there, by the door, were two types of sweaters.  One had an alpaca on the front, but I was drawn to the BAA Humbug Sheep design.  There was only one left in my size, so I claimed it/him/her!  Poor sheep - it needed a good home.

I like ugly Christmas sweaters.  I think that they are fun, and we can use all the fun we can get these days.  I don't care if the sweater is made of 100% acrylic.  This is not the time to be a yarn snob!  I like the sheep's red shoes and the orange pompom on his hat.

Guess what I'm wearing to work today?  I think that the sheep needs a name.

And reminder about the Stash Jar contest.  Check out the post from December 14th.

Happy First Day of Winter - and shortest day of the year.  Winter has definitely come to the Calgary area and it's going to be a white Christmas for sure.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


I don't know what it is about gnomes, but I like them a lot.   They are just so darned cute.  I've knitted one in the past, with a more planned for sometime in the not-too-distant future.  Now, on opening today's Advent Box, I can see that I'll be needle felting a pair of gnomes.  I've done a bit of needle felting in the past, but not much.  I'm looking forward to this project, although I won't get to it for a while.  The kit has everything I'll need:  the yarn, needle and a foam pad.  I just hope that mine will turn out as good as the ones in the pattern photo.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reindeer Noses

This is a first.  I've never had reindeer noses before, but that's what is in the Advent Box today.  They look yummy!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Project Bag

The surprise in the Advent Box for today is something that I know that will get a lot of use.  It's a nylon project bag, big enough for a couple of balls of yarn.  Inside there are two pockets.  There is a small strap on top so you can carry the bag on your wrist.  To keep you knitting project securely inside, the bag has a draw-string closure.  I like the fact that the bottom expands to have a flat bottom, giving more space. 

Also in today's gift box was a pattern for a cute elf beanie. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Dying to Dye

This looks like fun.  There is a small gradient dye kit in today's Advent Box.

I've been interested in dyeing for some time.  I've taken a couple of classes, bought undyed yarn and the dyes as well as rescuing an old microwave that was destined for the garbage to use only for dyeing.  I've read many books, everything I could find at the library.  What I haven't done is take the leap into dyeing on my own.

With this kit, I'm sure that I will.  Not only is this a dyeing kit, but it's a gradient dyeing kit.  I'm looking forward to giving it a try in the new year.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Tree

There is a little kit in today's Advent Box - the yarn, instructions and a little tea light to make a Christmas tree.

I'm afraid that I won't be making this tree. It requires starch that you can buy or make, but once the tree is completed it is fragile.  It would be lovely for this Christmas, but I just know it will get squashed in the box after Christmas and not look so good for next year.

Not to worry, though.  The yarn will be used for something else and I'm already thinking about uses for the little plastic tea light. 

About a week ago there was small kit to make a little knitted Christmas tree and I wondered if the tree needed decorating.  I think that it does and I found these Christmas lights in Fabricland.  The length of the light, not including the black end, is about a half inch. 

I can't talk about what's on my needles at the moment as it's something for Christmas and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  I wonder how many others are knitting secret Christmas items.