Thursday, March 10, 2011

Annemore #7 - & Other Stuff

So, over 2 months late, but they are done! The gloves for my dad - I'm going to give them to him today. I hope that he likes them, I'm a little nervous. They are lined, I'll explain below.
Pattern: Annemore #7 from Selbuvotter
Needles: US 3 - both circular & dpns
Yarn: Nature Spun in Ash & Storm
Started: Left hand begun on October 5th, 2010 and finished on January 25th, 2011. Right hand begun on January 26th, 2011 and finished on February 21st, 2011 - then I had to block them and sew in the liners which led me to today.
Here's the back of both gloves as they are blocking. I thought my dad would like the moose motif. And his favorite color is brown.Here are both the palms as they are blocking.This is what they were blocking on. I traced my dad's hands on to a piece of cardboard. Then after I cut them out I covered them in packing tape so that they would hold up shape with the wet gloves on them. They worked pretty good.These are the liners that I bought at REI. I don't remember the brand, they were just basic glove liners.
So, then I hand stitched in the liners with embroidery floss. After knitting the fingers, this was the hardest thing for me to convince myself to do. It wasn't the hardest thing to do, just hard for me to convince myself to do. Knitting the fingers was worse.

So, I'm really proud of the gloves - it was quite a project. I don't think that I will be making another of pairs of gloves anytime soon. Mittens, sure, no problem. Gloves involve all those pesky finger parts and that is the stuff I just don't like. Not doing gloves again anytime soon.

Meanwhile, finishing the gloves means that I get to work on knitting something new. So, this is what I have on my needles now:It is another overdue Christmas project. A Danish Earflap Cap for my cousin's son. I borrowed an idea from my good friend and added the feature below:It's his name. I think he will like it. I'm very excited to be working on something, anything, other than those gloves! I don't do well with putting myself on project restriction!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Half Way There

Ta-da!!!! I present to you, a finished left hand glove!!

The back of the hand with the moose, the little plant, and the star.

The palm side which has kind of lattice pattern to it, along with the back side of the thumb gusset and the thumb. So, I'm half way there on this project!

I also have to present, a hat:
This is a Turkish Cap from the book Hats On. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash, which is important because it is for a little person who probably doesn't need the bother of having to worry about how to appropriately hand wash wool hats, or at least her mother doesn't.
I love this pattern! I particularly love the crown pattern that it makes - like a flower!

So, status report. One month out from Christmas and here is where I'm at with the unfinished Christmas knitting gifts:

1 glove down, 1 more glove to go (my father, it turns out has both and left and a right hand)
1 hat down, 4 more to go (this sounds like a lot, but hats are a lot faster than gloves, so it's nothing compared to the 1 glove!)
1 neck cowl to go (this will also be wicked fast)

Really, it all comes down to the glove. And not even the whole glove, because I'll really enjoy knitting the cuff and the palm of the glove and I'll do it on one long needle, so it will go by quickly. It comes down to the fingers. I am telling myself that I may not start another project until the gloves are done. I have all the materials needed for the next hat in a bag ready to go, but I can't pick it up until I'm done with the glove. I. must. finish. the. glove. It's a mantra I'm chanting. Discipline, particularly in the form of fidelity to one knitting project alone at one time, is not my strong suit. Gotta have a mantra to chant. I can do this.

Today is the 38th Anniversary of the passage of the Roe v. Wade court decision! It is a day to celebrate freedom and choices! I'm all about freedom and choices. The way I look at it is this - who the hell am I to tell anyone else what is the right thing for them to do with their own body? I don't want that responsibility - they should get to make that decision. I've got my own life and my own body to worry about. I also don't want to tell anyone else what they should believe and I don't want anyone trying to tell me what I should believe. I'd like to figure that stuff out for myself also. I know, I know, this is a knitting blog and now I'm flittering into the world of politics. But you know what, it's my blog, I can write about politics if I want to.

I'm celebrating choices and freedom today!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Do Over! - Happy New Year 2011!

Happy New Year! New Year always feels like a bit of a "do over" to me. Not in the creepy Groundhog's Day sort of stuck in the same again and again, but in the Tabula Rasa (Clean Slate) sort of way. You take stock of the year that has finished, celebrate the successes, learn from the mistakes, evaluate your personal growth, and look forward with hope & optimism to the year ahead where it all both continues and starts over at the same time! The way I see it, we are all just works in progress until we die, but that may just be how I see it. I'm always excited about the opportunity for progress, even when the progress is a little more challenging and painful, because it usually results in learning, growth, change, and joy too.

The holidays were a bit of a mixed bag for me this year. I was more unprepared for the holidays this year than I've ever been. I'm trying to give myself a break, remind myself that not everything can be perfect every year, and figure out how I'll do things differently the next time around. There was some really wonderful stuff this holiday season though too!

These beautiful people are my parents. In 2010 they both turned 75, dad in April and mom on December 24th. Also, December 19, 2010 was their 40th Wedding Anniversary. So, we had a little party for their Ruby Jubilee (how often in life do you get to use the term Ruby Jubilee? I couldn't pass this opportunity up!)! This photo was taken at the Ruby Jubilee party. We had 28 of us all together and we had a lot of fun!

I've shown this quilt top before - it is the quilt I made for Kieran for Christmas. This was after it was quilted though...

Here's the back. I didn't do the quilting, I had someone else, more experienced, help me with that part. But I did the binding, which I need some instruction on. It works, but it certainly isn't the prettiest binding you'll ever see!

I've shown this quilt top before too, it's the quilt I made for Alastar for Christmas. This is after it was quilted though too...

Here's the back. I did the not so pretty binding on this one too. I really like how both of them, in spite of the binding, turned out. They are really nice! I did not have these ready for the boys on Christmas Day, despite my best efforts. That bothered me a bit. They received them on December 27th.

Here they are with the quilts. They don't seem to mind that it's December 27th after all...

My other big Christmas regret is that I didn't get my father's gloves done. I'm still working on these. This one bothers me the most because my dad hasn't and doesn't ask for much from me. He did ask for some gloves though and I've really been struggling with them. I got the wrist and palm part done in no time. It's the fingers! I really don't enjoy knitting them, they are awkward, and so I procrastinate on them. I'm working on it though and will hopefully have them done soon!

This is going to be the next quilt I will make. I'm taking a class that my BKFF took last spring, Easiest Strip Quilt Ever class. I'm not taking this class until April though. The other quilting class I'm taking in April is on how to do binding correctly. I need that! I'm finishing one mending project and then I'm putting my machine away for a couple of months. I want to focus more on knitting. I'm a little sewed out right now.

But, I really like the colors in this Jelly Roll and I thought it would make a bright, fun, and easy quilt, so I figured why not? By April I'll be ready again. Maybe I'll finish the Kuspuk I started for myself...

This is one of 5 hats I'm knitting for belated Christmas gifts for small heads...

This is a cowl for a good friend...for Christmas...obviously...

This is another cowl for a family member...for Christmas...again, obviously...

This cute little yarn roll that reminds me of sushi is going to be a hat for a friend who is having a baby in February.

Upon reflection, I did get some major projects accomplished in 2010. I finished 2 sweaters, both from stash, and both turned out lovely. I got some more charity hats knit, all from stash. I made my first kuspuk and I sewed 3 quilts on my new sewing machine. I also knit a hat for myself, unusual, published my first knitting pattern, and knit a piece of lace that turned out so nice that the person who wrote the pattern asked me about it. That's pretty amazing! All in all a pretty accomplished year on the project front, even if I didn't get all done that I wanted to.

Looking ahead, I need to finish up the stuff that was intended for 2010. Once I get the fingers on the gloves done I think the rest will go quickly! My main goal for 2011 - is to recapture my sock mojo. I've lost it for some time now, I tried to regain it in the summer, but that didn't work out. I'm thinking that I want to make 2011 the year of socks! And if I start right away at the beginning-ish of the year, it could be socks for one and socks for all next holiday! I'll just hang on to all the socks and then I'll have my gifts all done...this could's certainly worth a try! Right now though, I think I'll do a little of this:
Here's my sweet boy all tuckered out and snoozing on mom's side of the bed! He's really good a napping, that's a lesson I could learn from Winston! Happy New Year everyone! Tonight's the night when the world begins again! My Sweet Baboo and I will be ringing in 2011 with the Indigo Girls at the Bear Tooth, I hope you and yours will be doing something equally as fun!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Good Bye Old Friend! RIP!

I have literally been meaning to write this post for 6 months. And now that the end of 2010 is upon us, I wanted to note the end of an era for me and my life, the final closing and then demolition of the Fireweed Theatre. This movie house was in walking distance from my parent's home. I spent countless hours of my childhood in this movie house! Literally! My mother is a movie fanatic and she passed this love of cinema on to my sister and I. From a young age we were going to the movies with mom all the time. When mom wanted to have friends over, she sent us to the movies with dad. I saw so many Disney movies there I can't even count. In the summers when I was a kid if it was raining we could go to the movies and Laura and I walked there with our money in our pockets hand in hand. Mom always gave us enough money for the movie, a small popcorn, and a small drink. Occasionally we could get candy too. The screen at the Fireweed was HUGE, so many wonderful things came to life on that screen, I will certainly miss it! I don't even know where to begin, but I will say two words: Star Wars.
The Fireweed also had the first arcade I ever went to as a kid. I spent so much of my money that I earned from doing chores there on things like Centipede, Ms. Pac Man, Galaga, and Pole Position! It was a big part of my life. Now, when you drive past the corner of Fireweed Lane and the Seward Highway the signs are still there thanking Anchorage for the memories, but it's just a level asphalt slab. I will miss you old friend, and remember you fondly.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Photo Friday

Okay, I know I haven't posted in 3 months. I don't really have an excuse, I definitely have been busy. I also just haven't felt like writing. But, there has still been knitting and there has also been more quilting. On this snowy Friday night there is much I could write, and the post would be really long. Instead I decided to just put in a bunch of photos with captions. Enjoy!
My sweet baboo and I went to see Marc Cohn in concert in November.
He played in Portland at the Aladdin Theater. It was an amazing show! The song we danced to at our wedding is a Marc Cohn song.
After the show I got to meet hi and he signed a bunch of stuff for me!

I finished the Babies an Bears for Grown-Ups sweater. It turned out really good!
Here's the back.

Here's my second quilt top ever - it is for my nephew Kieran.

Here's quilt #3 - it is for my nephew Alastar.

Here's a Turkish cap from Hats On! that I knit for a charity function.Here's the front view. It sold at the fundraiser.

Here's another hat I made for the same fundraiser. It is a modification from the Lace Rib Watch Cap pattern from Hats On. We are raising funds for AWAIC - Abused Women Aid In Crisis. It helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence. This sold too.Here's the third hat I made. It's a modification of a baby hat pattern I saw in a LYS that I can't remember the name of. It sold too. We raised $5900 for AWAIC, but certainly not all from my hats!

This is the start of a glove I'm knitting for my dad for Christmas. He needs gloves for when he skis. They are fun!I took my first introduction to machine quilting class. Here's an example of my first free motion quilting attempt. I even got my initials in there! Not really of the quality needed for finishing a nice quilt there, but I'll get better with some practice.

So, that's my fall! I'm now immersed in holiday knitting! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to your holiday season!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


This is my first ever quilt top! Last Christmas I received my first ever sewing machine as a present and my good friend recommended that I take a quilting class to learn how to use it. The class was in February / March and by the end of it I had all the blocks done, but hadn't finished the sashing or borders. I finished these in the span of a couple of weeks. I am quite in LOVE with it! So much so, that although I had originally planned to learn how to quilt it myself by taking another class I have decided to pay someone to quilt it for me. I am going to make another quilt top that I will use to learn how to quilt. My plan is to make quilts for my nephews for Christmas and I'll learn how to do the quilting part on one of these quilts because, honestly, 8 year old boys are not going to notice the quality, or lack there of, of the quilting. Whereas, I'd hate my novice quilting skills to ruin this quilt top that I'm so in love with!

This is my favorite block - it's called Margaret's Choice. So, it's mine!

This block is Black Spruce. I made it for my Sweet Baboo because he loves trees. It is sideways on purpose. He told me that having it sideways was more "po-mo". Apparently he has strong post-modern tendencies and so this was important. It's my second favorite because it's his!

Totally unrelated, here is a picture of Winston doing something he doesn't usually do - sitting in the recliner. Now, Winston generally has the run of our house, he sits on the couch, he sleeps on the bed, say what you like it's the way it is. Generally he doesn't sit in the recliner because he doesn't like it very much. On this particular day he decided he couldn't be apart from me so he climbed up into my lap. It was pretty funny!

On another totally unrelated topic, yesterday I was wearing my Sock Summit 2009 sweatshirt to one of our local businesses and the man working behind the counter said to me, "Hey - I missed that, was it fun? Was it some kind of rock concert?" I looked at him and said, "Noooooo, it was a sock knitting conference. But, it was fun! It was in Portland, Oregon. There's going to be another one next year, you should check it out." The whole thing just made me laugh and my Sweet Baboo thought it was really hilarious!!

I have been knitting - I'm working on the second half of the B&B sweater. I understand why the name of the pattern is what it is, but at the same time I find it to be kind of a goofy name, so I'm trying to figure out another way to refer to it. My apologies to the designer. Again, as I said, I do understand why the name is the way it is.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy 90th Anniversary!!

It was 90 years ago today that women in our country were finally recognized as true citizens and given the right to vote. The 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution. When I used to teach Government I would joke with the kids and tell them that the 19th Amendment was the most important amendment to the Constitution. They didn't always agree. It is hard to name just one as the most important, but I know that the 19th is of particular importance to me.

As a student and then teacher of American History and Government, my heart swells when I think of all that the suffragists went through to get this basic right for all women. They endured imprisonment, torture, and some of them even gave their lives. It makes me so proud to be a woman! When I think of people taking this essential right for granted and not exercising it I get really frustrated and angry. They sacrificed so much so that I could have a better life in this great country! I hope that everyone will take a moment today to reflect on that and to say a little thanks.