Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wonderful Wallaby #2

When you get a request from a cutie pie 7 year old to make him a sweater just like 'Alvin's', you KNOW you need to jump on it asap.

So, taking his suggestions, I measured him in his favorite jacket, since this is the size he wanted.

He took me by the hand and led me directly to where he KNEW the yarn was already in my house-smart kid, he pays attention!

But then he asked for thumbholes to be added to the cuffs. No problem, just make 'em like wristwarmers! I tried it on just before I went back to Michigan before I joined the sleeves to the body and realized it was a perfect fit for right then. No room for growth. Since I wasn't going to get it done prior to boarding the plane, we decided to add a little extra length in the body and the sleeves.

Then I finished it right after I got to Michigan so I had mailed it to him. I had THOUGHT I'd have left on Valentine's Day, February 14th. Since I didn't leave until the end of March, I had to wait until yesterday when his schedule met up with mine to get pictures of him wearing it so I could see how it fit.

I do believe we got him some growing room. Child sized 12 with extra length in the sleeves and body, just under 3 skeins of 'I Love this Yarn!' in Navy. Then add in one older brother to stand behind my shoulders to make him laugh while taking pictures to show his new big teeth! wa-la...makes the knitter happy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

knitting in my sleep...

While I was back in Michigan, where I left you last, we had snow...
How much snow?

More than I've seen in a quite awhile.

Yep, that's the whole ruler nearly buried.

In the downtown area, they plowed a lot of it into the middle of the streets

really high...

before they came in the middle of the night to scoop it up and take it to the river.

When I was a kid, we lived on the other side of the river and after big snows, driving downtown wasn't on the list of things to do, so I'd only heard about this. This was my first time really seeing it in person.

However, snow was not the only thing accumulating. There was a coffee sleeve and some stitch markers for the new knitter who...

practiced some new stitches

so she could cast on for her first scarf...

while I knit a hat for ship's support on Dad's surgical day...

Which seemed to take forever, because not only did Dad have an aneurysm, but actually had 5 found and repaired during surgery. Mom didn't get to see him until 8:30ish in the evening! Longggggggggggggg day, I tell ya.

So before heading home that night, we headed over to Grandpa Tony's for my favorite Tony's steak sandwich before making it a night.

Then, Mom's flowers opened and really filled the air with a wonderful aroma.

Oldest daughter sent her Grandma a 'little' bit of tea to make her feel loved.

Before we brought Dad home after a 6 night stay that was intended to be a one night event. During Dad's time in the hospital, both of my parents picked up a stomach bug. Let's just say how much fun that was to try NOT to 'join in' with the 'activity' of the day. ULG. I'd rather not repeat that day again!

The next day, cousin brought over Dad's favorite-cake!

Dad likes a bit of frosting...

With his cake. The more icing? The happier he is.

After cousin had seen my Norwegian Star hat when I was there for her Mom's Memorial service, I said I'd make her one but in purple. I finished it off as my Olympic project. (The sweater never got touched. *sigh*...) I knit the last stitch before the end of the last hockey game! I made it with a whole project. I had begun to think that was never going to happen. Tired? Doesn't begin to describe how exhausted I was getting to feel.

I absolutely the book, 'Hat's On!' and the Ella Rae Classic wool for these hats. I kept the needles on the top of the hat until I could see her and have her try it on. Otherwise, it was a done deal. Fits her better than anyone else, so far. Guess she's got the right sized head!

New knitter, ended up making a booga bag for her first completed project! We used Paton's Classic wool that was on clearance (Of all things!) from the Michael's store in the Saginaw area. She knit hers in the purple single stranded, while I used the sesame in a double stranded so I could teach her the steps of knitting in the round, picking up stitches, adding colors, and i-cord while she knit up her bag.

After felting the bags, we used the radiators to dry them. That's another thing I don't have in Southern California. And what a great tool that is for drying felted bags and hot pads, not to mention drying wool hats! After starting out in the pantry.

Not too shabby for a first time knitter! eh?

Cute? But we didn't stop there. Oh, no!

I found the pattern one night on raverly for a child's cupcake hat. Knowing how much Little Miss B loved her own cupcake from the gourmet bakery near her house ....

Hers just HAD to have Chocolate sprinkles, too!

I used Caron's Simply Soft light green and Bernat's Satin in the brown for the hat. The pattern is here:

Rumor has it, that it's her nap-time requirement now! Then, her mother tried her hand at double points....


and made her first hat for her husband using the Mushroom Cap pattern :

using two circulars to make the crown. Here she's binding off!

And it's a great pattern to fit lots of sizes of heads! She's a fabulous student I tell ya!

But, back to the Norwegian Star hats for daughter's birthday...

Here's Mom modeling daughter's new apron. Again, I used Mom's apron as the pattern with one side with the Happy Birthday fabric...

and the other side with musical notes for her musical side of her life...

with her pink and purple Norwegian Star hats....

Inside out with my blue one. Hers are smaller than mine...

from the same Hat's On! book, I started another stockinette watch cap. I'm keeping this one at Mom's for charity knitting next fall/winter season. There are several places in Michigan I like to donate hats to, so this should be the seed to the group of hats for the next season's need. That, and being cheap, I won't have to pay to mail them. (ha, ha)

This Christmas Lace Kitchen set was knit just before I left as a thank you for one of Mom and Dad's friends for all the help they've been to them. And since they brought dinner over one night, it's just wrong to send home their dishes empty. Rather than refill them with food, I slipped in the towel and dishcloth for them to find after I left. Good old Peaches and Creme cone yarn for this! Love it!

While Dad was still in the hospital, Mom and I were introduced to the Granddaughter of a couple who own another yarn shop in the area that I didn't even know about! (more later on that ...) I picked up some trekking yarn to start making socks for me. Again, this is as far as they've gotten, but I really like it!

I did pick up some orange and navy Simply soft to make some more socks for the medical transport with Ship's Support. They've requested that we make them in 'guy colors' or our favorite team's a good shot of the actual colors but the question is...

are they Syracuse U colors?

or Detroit Tiger's colors that I thought I was buying? ahahaha...

I finished the hat after going home to California while watching the DVD for Julie & Julia movie. Cute movie-have you seen it yet?

Before making another cupcake hat for Little Miss 'R'

FINALLY knit up the towel and dishcloth to match the Simply Striped Sack Sock

from a couple of years ago, that I'd never finished for myself. Seems I do very well at making kitchen things for all of my kids and my Mom long before making anything for me. Now, I've really got to make some oven mitts and felted hot pads, too! Someday.....

Back in Michigan, Mom bought me the yarn to make the top down sweater from Pure and Simple. While I technically started it there, I was too tired after getting up every night with Dad at 11pm, 2, 5 and 7am to be able to think straight.

However, when I sat down after a lot of catch up sleeping, I took a page out of the Yarn Harlot's blog. When you're increasing on this pattern, it happens every other row. So I took a contrast color and flipped it back and forth every other row to remind me to knit a row even, and increase the next row. After all the other stitch markers I was using it was a simple reminder that was different at the beginning of the row that I had to do something different. I kept the stitch markers at the points where the increases were to take place. Now, why didn't I think of that before? Too easy!

See? straight up at the beginning of the round in a color that was sure to catch my eye while I was knitting around and around and around.

Next up came the sleeves. I love to do the sleeves at the same time to make sure they're knit with the same amount of tention and number of rows....I was all set to hit it big time. But...

Soon realized that they didn't feel the same. Why? One needle was a (US) 9 while the other was a (US) 8! Opps! Guess I was still tired...So I finished the first sleeve changing it to a 2x2 ribbed cuff rather than the pattern's roll edge. Went back and picked up the stitches with a smaller needle (acting as a lifeline), prior to ripping it back.

Worked like a charm...

Until I changed my mind again, and went back and ripped out the 2x2 ribbed sleeve cuffs and put in the rolled edges from the original pattern. I left a little bit of yarn tucked up and pinned into the sleeve while I wore it a couple of times to make sure I had the correct length and the rolled edges felt alright. Sleeves 'bug' me most days and when I'm knitting, they tend to irritate me when my knitting gets caught up in them.

I can say for certain now, that the sleeves with the rolled cuff edges are soft and non-bugging! they're going to stay. And I'll wager a guess that the bottom 2x2 ribbing will eventually get pulled out and switched to the rolled edge from the original pattern as well. For now, I have a sweater that fits like a loose sweatshirt, which is what I was looking for while I was back in Michigan. It's fabulous to throw over another sweater/t-shirt, etc... for wearing in layers or on a cool night at the beach. (Yep, I've hit the beach already since leaving Michigan! Quite the change after all the shoveling I've done this year!)

I knit it in size 50" with 6 skeins of Plymouth Encore, Cranberry, with this much left over, (US) 9( 5.5mm) circular Addi clicks. It's loose, and I love it!

Back to more cotton, Peaches & Creme...I knit up the Bridal Shower Lace Kitchen sit (forgot to take the picture of the dishcloth with the camera...) as a little take home gift when most of my kids and I had the pleasure of visiting with a dear friend who'd moved away a long time ago!

Don't you love it when you find a friend, that you'd thought through time and circumstance that you'd never see again? Last Saturday we sat and cried, and talked, and hugged and then went to dinner with most of my kids. It was really good, and this time, thankyou facebook, I don't think we'll lose track of each other anymore!

Now, I'm off to another sweater for me. Yep, two in a row, who'd a thunk? No, it's not Florence, which I really need to knit because I still really want to wear it, but this time, it's the Yankee Knitter Aran sweater and I'm using Cascade 220. Of course, I'm changing it around a little bit. Again.

Here are the sleeves, that I'm knitting up first to check on the gauge. I have picked the dark grey color that I used in Dad's vest, brought in the ribbing on the sleeves that I used in Mom's sweater a couple of years ago, and swapped out the Blackberry stitch and put in the Wishbone Cable from the front of the sweater onto the sleeves. I think it needs to be there. So far, I'm enjoying this very much. After all, it's a cardigan, and with a daughter graduating with her Master's Degree in the next couple of weeks in New York, I might need something for the chilly evenings! Wonder how long it's going to be for me to finish this?

Lastly, before I case anyone is still reading, I'm sending hugs and love to two of my old college roommates. Sandy and Patty! My heart and prayers are with you both. Sandy lost her Dad this week, and Patty and her sisters are making difficult choices with their Dad. I heart you my friends! I understand. "Little girls" with their Dads, something in us says they're always going to be around to take care of us, and when the tables turn, well. I understand. A lot. Hugs and love my friends, hugs and love.

Dad keeps calling wanting me back in Michigan. I'm still trying to play catch up from being there 3 weeks or so from Christmas Dad to January, and then 8 weeks in February and March. I'll get back there, I know. But for now, my brother is holding down the fort. He says he's got it all covered. I just wish Dad would understand that he's ok, too. And he's quite capable himself. In the meantime, I'm knitting and sleeping. And waiting for my daughter to finish her last couple of papers so we can celebrate her accomplishments!