Thursday, January 30, 2014

special day

January 24 is friend S's birthday. I have developed the habit of leaving a little something on her front porch to greet her when she comes out in the morning of that special day. This year, it was this:


I had a skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock in all her favorite colors, and I'd been wanting to try this pattern. The perfect oppportunity.  
I wish now I'd used a needle one size bigger -- but then I would have run out of yarn.
Here is a better view of the pattern, stretched out for blocking: 

It was a lot of fun, and I am going to make it again, in a thinner yarn, so the lace shows to better advantage.

(The pattern is Riverrun by Erin McNellis.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

those silly hats

This Christmas I finally did something I've wanted to do for at least 6 or 7 years -- I made these silly hats for (reading left to right) my sister-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, and sister. (You will recognize them, perhaps, from our Christmas card here on the blog). I got all four to sit on the couch and open them simultaneously. But then, as is customary in our family celebrations, things got silly and wild and I forgot to get them to model for me!! Here, at least, are the hats being well behaved:

I had to wash two of them before I even wove in the ends, because time got away from me. I was making tassels 2 hours before we left for the family gathering. But it wasn't really my fault. . .

I had yarn for my brother's from the very first time I planned this project. The brown and tan looked great side by side in the ball, but in stripes they were mournful and depressed. I tried adding colors, I tried taking out one and adding in another. . . nothing worked. They have been reassigned and are going to be mittens instead. Then I found that lovely dark red Mission Falls 1824. Perfect for him! Except -- several years ago I gave away what I thought was all of my Mission Falls 1824, and had none to make stripes. And none of the knitters I thought might have some of a color that would work have any either. The yarn was discontinued several years ago, so just going on line to order wasn't going to work. I did dig up one skein of gold, but that wasn't going to be enough. That one was supposed to be the third hat; I set it aside and proceeded to #4. As I worked on that, I decided I'd just have to order some new yarn, because it had to be superwash (for reasons of hat survival once released to its rightful owner) and I don't have much superwash that isn't sock yarn. I ordered four colors of Cascade 220 Aran Superwash, knowing how monitors lie, and hoping I would be able to work something out. Great news! The yarn was a match in weight and texture for the 1824, so I just added in that dark navy. Whew!! This project had not been intended to be a cliffhanger.

They were received with great delight, and I know that at least two of the four wear theirs all the time. (Still wish I'd got that picture. . .)

(The pattern is Yankee Knitter #26, Hats and Mittens.)

January: adult mittens

Um. Apparently it is not the first week of January. But plenty of time to reform! Starting in February the category will be announced right away (and Pat already knew, so she has not been waiting impatiently off stage).

The January category is adult mittens. I, of course, am just weaving in the ends on five hats. . . more on those when they are done.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

I spent New Years Day in Germany sight seeing with my husband, Chuck and my Mom and Dad.  We did a Viking River Tour of the Main River and Canal as well as a 3-day extension to Koln.  We checked out the "after" Christmas Markets (also called Winter Wonderlands) as well as seeing the standard sites; castles, city walls, terribly old breweries, palaces, gardens and old towns.  I came to take photos and check out every yarn store I could find which worked out very well, knitting is popular in Germany!

I had both Dad and Chuck as escorts for each knit shop adventure.  They were patient and didn't hurry me.  I stopped and petted each skein of yarn in every store and as you know that takes awhile.  We even went to a department store to check out the yarn selection, we had to go to the very top of the store, four stories up and then to the way back corner... it was fun.

Lots of young folks in Germany are wearing crochet beanies.  These are made from thick, brightly colored, wool/acrylic blend yarns.  Many of them have pom-poms on the top and some sort of tag on the edge.  Each pom-pom was different and unusual.  The tags can be bought in wool shops (yarn stores). 

 I fell in love with the "bunny tail" poms and bought one first chance I got.  When I got back to the ship I pulled out my travel sewing kit and put it right on the hat I'd brought to wear. I choose a bright green pom with black tips, when the wind blows it flows around, dancing on my head.

My mother liked mine so well we went to Maschenkunst in Koln and picked her up a bunny tail in a very natural colorway...
Well as you already know Elizabeth and I are going to continue knitting for others as well as knitting for ourselves.  Have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Begin as you mean to go on

And it's time for happy birthday to the blog. We always post on January 1 not because it's a New Year's resolution, but because the first post ever on Two Left Feet was on January 1, 2010. Lots of knitting under the bridge. . .

They say you should start the year as you mean to go on (who are "they," anyway?). So far today I have done some knitting, started reading a new book, drunk coffee, fixed little things here and there to make the house nicer. . . and pretty soon I will eat some chocolate and then, later, make a pot of soup. That looks like a fine template for the year!!

As usual, we're setting a theme for the blog. We were successful with last year's hat project and we're continuing in a similar vein for 2014. This year we will be knitting, every month, for The Maine Mitten Project, who are doing their best to keep homeless kids and adults in Maine at least a little bit warmer. I lived there for 13 years; you don't want to be without hat and mittens during the cold months.

Each month we'll have a category, to be announced on the first day of that month. (Pat and I, of course, will already know it.) The Maine Mitten Project doesn't just need mittens, although those are crucial, of course, so there will also be hats and maybe a scarf or two. We have a tentative schedule for the year worked out, but we're not posting it now to leave us some room to roll with whatever punches 2014 throws. I think we will mail January's and February's items right away; we'll accumulate March through October and send them all together in preparation for the winter that will be starting just about then.

I am going to try to do every one of the 12 "assignments,"  but we're officially allowing ourselves two free passes during the year, if the need arises. And of course, we will continue to knit for A4A, as always.

Feel free to knit along!!