Tuesday, May 28, 2013


If you have an old cassette case (remember cassettes?) lying around, it still has a use.  It can be a stand for your cell phone, and the price is certainly right:

Monday, May 27, 2013

If You're American...

Happy Memorial Day

I know that it sometimes seems that the purpose of this holiday is to have a barbecue or a mattress sale, but please take a minute and thank a serviceman or woman for their service.

Today I'm working on a pair of socks that have a very American theme, the Stars and Stripes:

The toe will be blue.  The other sock will have the heel and toe colors reversed.  The Stars & Stripes yarn is from knitpurlgurl on Etsy, purchased a couple of years ago.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

$4,500 Sweater

According to the Wall Street Journal, this sweater, by Natalia Vodianov, sells for $4,490.00 at Saks Fifth Avenue.  Hurry up and get one before they sell out.

I would have knit one for much less... even as low as $4,000.00. Plus tax, of course!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Full Circle

I've been knitting for as long as I can remember.  Even as a pre-schooler I remember having needles and yarn in my hands.  Yes, I'm obsessed and make no apologies.

A couple of days ago my daughter snapped a couple of photos on her phone of my granddaughter wearing a knitted peach-colored dress.  This is a dress that I made for Jessica more than 30 years ago and now Makayla (6-1/2 months) is wearing it.  I remember the dress but I didn't know that it was still around after all this time so you can just imagine how heartwarming it was to know that it was being worn again.

Click to enlarge

I don't remember what yarn or pattern I followed.  If I was to guess I'd say it was probably a pattern and baby yarn from Patons.  It was the most common yarn available at that time and place. By the way, the rattle that Makayla is playing with was her Mom's too.

How time flies!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sprössling Has Begun

I started a new project a few days ago and the yarn is from my stash...yes!!  The cardigan is Sprössling by Anne Hanson.  I'm using Louet Gems 100% Merino Wool in color #08 Lilac. 

This yarn was an excellent find at Wooden Spools in Englewood, CO at only $4.00/skein in July, 2010.  

My friend, Pam S., made this sweater and it was beautiful, so of course, I had to make one tooShe used Lanas Puras Yarns Melosa Fingering.  My yarn is a tighter ply but I think that it's turning out okay.  It's a fast knit with an easy to remember 4-row pattern.  So far I've finished the back and one sleeve and I'm now working on a front piece.

This is the unblocked back, taken a couple of days ago before it was finished.  There is shaping to bring the cardigan in at the waist a bit. I've kept the shaping in pattern as much as possible and it should look better once it's blocked.

I've only had one issue with the yarn so far.  On one of the skeins I found 4 knots throughout.  I made sure that I started each new strand at the side so that I could work the ends into the seams.  I like the color and it'll be a nice sweater for spring, or summer, depending on when I finish.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ray Manzarek

Chances are, if someone says the name of the band, The Doors, one of the first things that comes to mind is the song "Light My Fire" with its distinctive opening played on the organ.  We have the talented Ray Manzarek, second from left, below, to thank for that memory, among many.

Yesterday Ray Manzarek died of cancer at the age of 72.  He may be gone but his music will live on.

Monday, May 20, 2013

If You're Canadian....

 Happy Victoria Day!

I hope that you're enjoying a day off and doing something fun today,

While not the Queen, I couldn't resist sharing this picture.  I was amused!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Travel the World of Knitting

Recently I purchased a knitting app that I'm learning to use, little by little.  It's called Knit Companion and it's excellent.  There are so many things you can do with it and one day I hope to call myself an expert in its use. It's like no other knitting app out there. 

Now there are more apps on the Knit Companion platform, the Designer Series  One has patterns, instructions and more from Lucy Neatby and another is by Donna Druchunas.  I have downloaded the one by Donna.  As someone who loves to travel and knit I've been following Donna's adventures.  This app captures some of her travels through videos and patterns.

There is an introduction which tells a bit about Donna, then goes on to the eight patterns: 
  • Bosnian Slipper Socks
  • Lithuanian Beaded Wristers
  • Dorothy Reade’s Medallion Stole
  • Vilnius Market Mitts & Socks
  • Victorian Pineapple Purse
  • Skeleton Scarf and Hood
  • Colorado Spruce and Wildfire Shawls
  • Italian Diamonds Wristers and Cowl
There are full instructions that are used in KnitCompanion.  There is also a .pdf so that you can print the pattern.  You'll find a link to Donna's website, Sheep to Shawl, which is treasure trove of more patterns and inspirations.

Knitting has come a very long way in recent years with the explosion of websites, tutorials and now apps.  I can't help but wonder what will be next, from Donna, from KnitCompanion, and more.  I give this app two thumbs up!  It is compatible with the iPhone and the iPad.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Illegal Aliens

I don't normally get political on this blog but this struck a chord with me.  As someone who entered the US legally, filled out all the forms, paid the fees and the lawyer, and proudly earned my citizenship, I resent someone getting a shortcut because they broke the law. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Travel Afghan - Block #51

My Travel Afghan is inching towards completion with another block completed.  This block represents my trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was easy to find a suitable yarn this time.  Tutto had yarn that was dyed specifically for them in Southwest colors.  I bought 3 skeins, each one different.  Slowly I'm collecting yarns for a future Southwest project.  I don't know what it'll be yet.  Time will tell.


Pattern:  Rambling Rows Afghan from Cottage Creations
I started with 40 stitches for my small square

Yarn:  Tutto Santa Fe Hand Dyes
 100% Merino
Color:  Blue Yucca

  Needles: US 7 / 4.5 mm
Notes:   I also bought a skein of Silk Merino and a skein of Baby Boucle in the same colorway for a future project.  There are 4 blocks (3 rectangles and one large square) and a border left to finish on this afghan.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Friends' Weekend

Without reservation I would call the Cinco de Mayo weekend a perfect weekend.  It was a combination of a great location (Santa Fe, New Mexico) + wonderful friends + excellent conversations + sightseeing + shopping + perfect weather + good food + knitting.  How can you top that?

The weekend was so good, in fact, that I often forgot to take pictures.  Does that mean that I should go back again one way, hopefully soon?  I think so.

One of the most spectacular things that we saw was The Loretto Chapel with its magnificent staircase.  What makes it most impressive is that it was built without the use of any nails...only pegs, by an unknown carpenter.  I suggest you click on the link and read more about this special place.

Now, this is a coincidence:  I flew from Calgary to Santa Fe with a layover in Denver.  While in the Denver airport I checked my email and there was an invitation from artist Faith Welsh to all her friends to come and see her exhibit which was the next day in Santa Fe.  I was lucky enough to meet Faith and visit her studio in Taos last fall.  Of course, I wanted to go to see her, and another friend, Ricki Darbee.  It was so nice to see them again and this an unexpected bonus during this trip.

Of course, no trip is complete without a stop to a yarn store and we found a very nice one, Tutto Santa Fe.  I like this shop a lot.  The owner was welcoming and we spent quite a bit of time looking at every ball or skein of yarn, every button, book and notion.  We all left with "souvenirs"!!  I wish I'd taken pictures.  I saw yarns that I'd never seen before:  Isager, Marion Foale, Simply Shetland and Geilsk to name a few, as well as others that I'm familiar with and like.  I found yarn that was dyed especially for the shop in southwest colors for my Travel Afghan.  More about that in my next post.  I also bought a book of patterns and articles that was made for and by Tutto, called Tutto a mano.  All of us were quite taken with a cabled sweater in the book (in the middle picture, below) and one of us bought the yarn for another sweater (the black and white one in the top left...but she purchased stunning black and turquoise colors).  I can't wait to see how it turns out.....Pam.  Another coincidence..... I ran into another friend, Sam from Denver, as we were leaving the shop.  She was just arriving!

As often happens with good vacations, the time went by much too quickly and it was time to go, but with talk of doing this again next year, possibly going to Northampton, Massachusetts to Webs for their annual sale.  It doesn't matter to me where we decide to go as long as we can hang out together again.  But a yarn sale?  Hmmmm......  nice!

Santa Fe airport from the plane.  It was clouding over on the day we left.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Time Flies

Today Eric Burdon, singer with The Animals and with War, is 72.  I saw The Animals in concert when I was about 16.  They shared the bill with Herman's Hermits.  My Mother thought "Herman" was cute!  I saw War (without Eric Burdon) when I was 27.  While it doesn't feel like it was only yesterday, it doesn't seem like it was that long ago, either. 

Their music sounds as good to me now as it did then.  I still enjoy "House of the Rising Sun" (1964), "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" (1965) and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" (1965) and others.  The songs and Eric Burdon's bluesy voice make the songs ageless for me.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Allmans & WInwood

There was no blog post last weekend as I was in Santa Fe, NM enjoying a fabulous weekend with friends.  I'll post about that this weekend, assuming of course that I can stop jumping up and down.  Why am I excited you might ask? 

I'll be in the front row for this concert in Charlotte, NC.  The Allman Brothers are one of my favorite bands and I've only seen them once.  I can't wait to see them again.

Now...I must plan a visit to a local yarn shop as well!