Monday, December 11, 2017


This is a sweet start to Monday with this homemade candy in the Advent Box today.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Goal for 2018

Today's package in the Advent Box was a set of cable needles, useful tools.

I might end up using them before long as I have declared, for myself, that the coming year is:

My plan for the new year is to focus mainly on sweaters.  I'm curious to see how many I can complete before December 31, 2018.  Some of these sweaters have already been started and I'm looking forward to finishing and wearing them.  My key word for the year is COMPLETION.  I'd like to have 4 new sweaters by year's end and it should be do-able since I'll be retired.  But, I'm hoping for more than 4.

First up:  The Hairst Yoke Cardigan.  It was originally started in 2016 but my gauge was off so I restarted in July 2017.  One sleeve (my new gauge swatch) is done.  I bought the main color, a lovely cobalt blue (#18) at Jamieson & Smith in Lerwick, Shetland, in September 2015.

I haven't decided on the colors for the yoke yet.  I have a great range of Shetland wool in my stash to choose from, thanks to what I had and the generosity of some friends (P, M, J and P - thanks ladies).  I'm open to suggestions.  After taking the fair isle workshop with Janine Bajus last spring, I think I must swatch to see what colors go well together.  It's not enough to put them side-by-side in the balls.  You have to see how the colors interact with each other.  Speed swatching is your friend!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Snow Queen Wristlets

December 9th has brought another little kit, the Snow Queen Wristlets.  I don't know if I'll ever make them (the queue is so long), but if not, the yarn will go into my stash and used for another project.  The yarn is beautiful.  It's River City Yarns' house brand - about 25 grams of Adam & Eve:  81% superwash merino, 9% cashmere and 10% nylon.  I've used Adam & Eve before and it's wonderful - highly recommended.

Friday, December 8, 2017

I Got Socks For Christmas

For December 8th the elves at River City have a little project for crocheters.  I'm not one, but it's a chance to get out my thinking cap and come up with another use for the yarn and angel form.  The pattern is "Angel-ah". 

I decided that I needed a pair of Christmas socks and had this yarn in my stash.   

It turns out that "Twist" isn't just the name of this colorway, it's also the way the yarn knits up in a sock.  For the most part it twisted around the leg of the sock, similar to the way stripes wrap around a barber pole - more on one sock than the other.  The feet turned out quite differently from each other.  It makes the socks more interesting. In order to emphasize the twist, I worked a twisted rib pattern on the legs.

and on the other side, quite different:


Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 2 x 2 ribbing,
twisted rib stitch leg, short row heel, stocking stitch foot, shaped toe.

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color:  Peppermint Twist
Fusion base:  100% Superwash Merino

Ravelry link:  Peppermint Twist Socks

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Short but Sweet Blog Post

The elves at River City Yarns must be mind readers.  How did they know about my sweet tooth?  And, how did they know that I'm particularly fond of Jelly Belly candies?  I was lucky enough to visit the factory in Fairfield, California last March.  These candies won't still be around on the 25th!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A Notebook, A Tree and a Finished Sweater

Today's surprise was a handy little notebook, 5.5" x 3.5" and the smallest highlighter I've ever seen, 2.25" - perfect for tucking into a knitting bag.  On the cover is the quote, "A lady never discusses the size of her yarn stash".  I guess that my friends and I are not ladies as our stashes are often a topic of conversation!!

Yesterday's box contained the pattern and yarn to make Christmas trees.  Last night I completed the first one.  The pattern was easy and fun and the tree turned out just the way it was supposed to.  I'm very pleased.  Now, however, I'm wondering if the tree needs some decorations.  It's looking a little bare. I'll give that some thought.  The second tree, made with the eyelash yarn, is on the needles.

My goodness, I'm more behind in reporting FOs (finished objects) that I'd realized - I'd missed a sweater.  Back on May 13th I talked about struggling with the colors for a striped sweater that I was making.  The yarn came from the stash of a dear friend who had passed away.  I really wanted to make the sweater using only her yarn, but had to give in and order one skein to finish.  I knitted and ripped and knitted again, trying to make the most pleasing striping sequence.  I tried adding in other colors, but adding some beige, greens, grays or blues, etc.. just didn't work.

I'm pleased with the end result.  The sweater fits well and gets plenty of use.  I think that P. would have been pleased.  She was a huge fan of Plucky Yarns.  I think of her when I wear it.


Pattern:  I called this "A Very Plucky Pullover"
I adapted the pattern A Mermaid Darkly by Yelena M. Dasher

US #3 / 3.25 mm

Yarn:  1 skein of each 
The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering - Color Rye 
(this is additional skein that I bought to finish the sweater)
The Plucky Knitter SNUG Fingering - Colors: Rye, Noisette and Brulee

Ravelry project link:  
A Very Plucky Pullover

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jolly Juniper Trees

Around this time every year I want to knit Christmas things:  elves, ornaments, decorations, etc.  This morning's Advent Box contains a knitting project - just the kind of thing that I'm in the mood to make.  If I get a chance, I may make a tree today!

The green yarn is some of River City Yarns' house brand:  Epic, an aran weight wool.  The trees should be quite dense as the pattern calls for 3.75 mm/ US #5 needles. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Maple Tea and A Finished Hat

Today's Advent Box surprise goes hand in hand with yesterday's silicone tea bag.  It's Maple Tea from River City Yarns.  How very unique and very Canadian.  The ingredients are:  black tea, brittle (sugar, hazelnut), maple syrup, flavour.  It sounds like it'll be sweet, which is fine by me.  One of the reasons I'll normally only have one cup a tea in a day is because I like it sweet.  I can't wait to try this Maple Tea.

Click on the photo to enlarge
(c) Skacel
I'm continuing to play catch-up with recording my finished projects - and they aren't all socks!  This time it's a hat that I made for my granddaughter, Alyssa, for her second birthday on October 15th.  I found a skein of amazing yarn called Abracadabra by HiKoo.  What's amazing about it is that it appears to be white when you are inside, but when you go outside in the sun the color changes to pink very quickly. 

There was just enough yarn for the hat - about a yard left over.  I followed an excellent pattern called Whorl. It's well-written, a quick and easy pattern with just enough interest to keep it from being boring.  I expect that I'll make another Whorl hat someday.

Yarn contents:  35% Superwash Merino, 50% Polypropylene and 15% Nylon.  It's a DK weight, 100 yards in the 50 gram skein.

The yarn is not terribly soft, feels rather plastic-y.  I expect that's down to the polypropylene content, but it's not unpleasant.  The yarn is now discontinued and I was glad that there was enough yarn for the hat and that I didn't run out.

To finish off the hat I added a furry pompom that came from The Loopy Ewe in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Alyssa loves anything soft and her hands went immediately to the pompom:

Later, out on the playground, her hat was pink:

(c) Jessica Montague
The only difficulty I had was sewing on the pompom.  It very dense at the core and it was hard to get a needle through.  Next time, I'm looking for my thimble as I have another pompom for another hat (for me) yet to do.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Tea For Me

Today's package in the River City Yarns Advent Box is not directly knit-related.  It's something that I'd heard about and thought I would buy if I saw it in a store somewhere.

It's a reusable silicone tea bag - an infuser.  To use, remove the black cover on the bottom and fill with loose tea.  Reseal, then use like you would a regular tea bag.  That's the River City Yarns' logo on the end of the 'string'.

I'm anxious to see how well it works.  Normally I drink what I call "plain old tea", but every once in a while I'm curious about a flavored tea which often comes packaged as a loose tea.  I'm hoping that there is no plastic taste infused into the tea, and I'm guessing that there won't be any.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

In the Little December 2nd Package

The December 2nd surprise in the Advent Box was in a very small brown bag.  I couldn't imagine what I was going to find.

Inside were two little tags with the word "H♥NDMADE" on each of them.  They are very cute, made with a heavy fabric, perhaps a heavy demin or canvas?  I've never seen these tags anywhere before.  I think I may sew each of them onto a couple of afghans that I'm making.

I'll be catching up on finished objects for a little while - mostly, but not all, socks.  Next up, socks using the exclusive monthly colorway from The Loopy Ewe.


Pattern:  Cast on 60 sts, 2 x 2 ribbing,
stocking stitch leg, short row heel, stocking stitch foot, shaped toe.
(My usual "recipe")

Needles:  US #0 / 2.0 mm

Size:  Medium

Color exclusive to The Loopy Ewe:
"This Old Barn"

Each month The Loopy Ewe offers an exclusive colorway.  This one is from November, 2016.

Ravelry link:  This Old Barn

Friday, December 1, 2017

Advent Box

It's hard to believe that December is here now and that Christmas is only a few weeks away.  It sneaks up on me every year without fail.  Who doesn't love an Advent countdown to the 25th?  How many of you have a chocolate Advent calendar that you're starting today?

River City Yarns in Edmonton, Alberta produced an Advent Box for knitters.  What a great idea.  They sold out very quickly.  I picked mine up when I was in Edmonton for the Roger Waters concert.  More on that in another post.

Today I took the box off the shelf and removed the brown paper wrapped around it to see this festive box:

Click on the picture to enlarge
I realized when I took the picture that the box is actually upside down, but the top looks the same, so I didn't take a second photo.  I cut the tape and opened the box to see this inside:

There is card with an introduction to the Advent Box, also little boxes, paper bags and cloth drawstring bags.  Each has been stamped with "Don't open till .... and the date".  The elves at River City have hand picked and hand packed each day's gift.

The theme this year is "O Tannenbaum", from a German folk song.  Loving Germany as I do, I'm now even more eager to see what inside each day and see if it ties in with the theme.

So, today, I can open the first box.  Ta-dahhhh!!   Wow....this is cool and what a great way to start the month.  Inside were 3 mini skeins of their exclusive sock yarn called Hat Trick as well as a pattern to make Mini Stockings.  These will make adorable ornaments for the tree, even if they don't represent my team, the Colorado Avalanche.  It's hockey, it's knitting, it's all good and I'm really liking the first gift.  Which reminds, me.  I have a large skein in the Avalanche colorway in my stash.  After I make myself a pair of socks, or whatever, I can make an additional Mini Stocking later on.

I don't know if everyone gets the same hockey teams represented by the minis.  I think that mine are, from left to right:  Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I wonder what's coming for December 2nd.  Check back again if you'd like to know, too.