Updates from December, 2015 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 6:19 pm on December 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    My Turn 

    The past several months I have been preoccupied with knitting for others, from fingerless mitts for girls weekend, Estonian shawl for Go Red auction, Christmas gifts and goodies for a few special people.  Even though I still have a few projects that are languishing and begging to be finished, I feel like rewarding myself and starting something new, but still using yarn from my stash.  I really had wanted to make this hat, the Baa-ble Hat, by Donna Smith from the cover of this year’s Wool Week magazine, which I purchased when it came out, but for everyone the hat pattern is free via the above link. It was one of the most popularly queued patterns on Ravelry this year, and I think for good reason.


    Upon closer inspection, that hat calls for an Aran weight Jamieson’s yarn.  I know that the hat will kit up quickly, and I still want to make it, but I resisted the urge to drive out to a yarn store, or to purchase something online.  It will be coming up soon though…


    In the meantime, I pulled out this stash of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift


    and decided that it was the perfect time to cast on for the Sheepheid Tam by Kate Davies.


    The pattern has been in my procession for a couple of years, and I do have some Shetland wool of several colors that I was intending to handspan just for this, but will be happy to make the hat out of the yarn that I have on hand.

    Next I want to plan a new sweater from some stash yarns, I have a couple of options that I am mulling over.

    • natas75 12:34 am on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a lovely pattern. Will definitely check it out, though fair Isle is still something that I’m intimidated by..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 2:27 pm on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      First I am glad you are making something for yourself, you deserve it! Second, I am thrilled, as I am sure Dan is, that you are able to use some of your stash that you have on hand. It always feels good when you can use what you already have (I try to do this with quilting too but am not always successful). Can’t wait to see the finished project. Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:47 pm on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Diane, it is not like i am lacking for any of my own hand knit goods though!


    • Gracey 10:53 am on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I want to make both of those hats, but I’ve never done any color work besides stripes….its a bit intimidating…

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:46 pm on January 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        the Tam is definitely not the one to start with for a first project. I will let you know how the other one goes. Color work is very fun though!


  • knitting1105 5:58 pm on December 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    My Family Knows Me 

    My family knows me well, and my love of fiber related things.  This year for Christmas I was blessed with this beautiful monogrammed linen project bag, and stitch markers from Ethan and Sayaka.


    And from Sofia and Mark, wool ball earrings (last year Sofia gave me little sheep earrings):


    And Dan gave me this wonderful book that had been on my list:


    You can purchase the book here, directly from the author and get it signed in the process.  I have only just started reading it, but it sits by my bedside, making good night reading in sections.  Here are some reviews on the book by others, excerpted from the actors website above.  I am looking forward to this journey, it will let me have that sheep farm vicariously:

    “Barbara Parry offers a beautiful, vivid portrayal of life on a thriving fiber farm. Season by season, she presents a narrative that is dreamy yet concrete, inspiring yet informative, and always unblinkingly honest. A must-read for anyone who wants to better appreciate where their yarn comes from.”
    ~ Clara Parkes, author of The Yarn Whisperer

    “Many of us wool enthusiasts daydream about someday owning a farm, raising sheep, harvesting yarn, and going back to the land. Follow Barbara Parry on a journey that teaches us all ‘about the intangible gains of . . . taking the long road.’”
    ~ Jared Flood, knitwear designer and owner of Brooklyn Tweed

    “Parry’s skillful hand and gentle heart are the perfect blend to capture the joys and heartaches of farming in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains.”
    ~ Linda Cortright, publisher of Wild Fibers magazine

    “In my very first years of sheep farming—and the resulting shearing, spinning, and knitting that goes along with it—I found myself turning each page slowly, not wanting the education and camaraderie to end. But no matter where you find yourself on the spectrum—farmer, spinner, dyer, knitter, or weaver—you are sure to find inspiration, laughter, and joy in the farm tales that Barbara shares.”
    ~ Amanda Soule, author of The Rhythm of Family

    My last fiber related gift to post here is a beautiful collection of rainbow yarns for weaving from my husband.  I lusted over these when I first saw them, and am anxious to figure out the best way to use them.  They are begging for me to learn how to use my Inkle Loom…


    • Debbie 6:11 pm on December 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I always enjoy your blog!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 1:42 am on December 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, I am so glad that your family recognizes your love of fiber and secondly that you feel so blessed and loved by their gifts. Isn’t that what life is all all above is to feel blessed and loved and appreciate what we have? Happy New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 1:04 pm on December 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, all of my family, extended included has always supported this hobby/addiction of mine. I do feel very loved. Happy New Years!


    • conniewockensolle 4:09 am on December 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply


      I’m not such an expert, but isn’t the wool in the box already spun?
      Maybe it is meant for weaving?

      Cheers and Happy New Year,

      Connie Wockensolle

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 1:03 pm on December 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Oh Connie, thanks for being my editor! Corrected. Happy new Years!


    • Michelle 7:46 am on December 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Frances, I can so see you owning a sheep/alpaca fiber farm. This is all very intriguing – this beautiful book, your Facebook message about having your own Chickens next year, picturing Dan ambling around a sheep farm, you hard at play spinning away – what a great image. Coming to Chicago soon!


  • knitting1105 2:01 pm on December 26, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    A Great Christmas! 


    Christmas was really wonderful this year, as Sofia and Ethan brought their significant others home to spend the Holidays with us.  Expanding by 2 made our family feel so much bigger.


    Sayaka worked very hard to make us a Sushi meal for Christmas Eve, it was amazing.

    Christmas morning started out with the traditional Mimosa, followed by stockings and then gifts, then a great breakfast.


    I made a couple of small items for gifts, a cowl for Sofia, using size 15 needles!  Dan was shocked that I had something that big in my hands.  Made for a quick, fun gift.


    And a cowl and socks for Sayaka:

    And of course, there were fiber related gifts, more on that in the next post.

    We felt truly blessed to have family with us, and health.  Hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

    • Diane Hamilton 2:56 am on December 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I am so glad you had such a great Christmas and your knitted gifts are beautiful as always. The picture of the 6 of you is great!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 12:36 pm on December 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    A Great Resource 

    I found this visual recently, and thought it a great resource to publish.  And to think, that I only knew one type of cast on for many many years!


    After seeing this chart, a quick google search led me to these 2 books that I had not previously known about.  I have ordered them from the library to see if they are a good resource to have in my own personal library.  Will review both when I have them in hand.




    • Cloud 8:26 pm on December 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m very excited for the review on these two books. 🙂 I hope they’re useful resources!

      Liked by 1 person

    • natas75 11:09 pm on December 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wow. I also know only one way. Will have a look on what all is possible.

      Liked by 1 person

    • tonymarkp 5:22 pm on December 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I have the Cap Sease book. It’s awesome.


  • knitting1105 12:16 pm on December 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Adult Coloring-Knitting Style 

    I have always loved coloring and especially with my Prismacolors.  Recently, the adult coloring books have taken the book market by storm.  I have been really intrigued by these, and almost added them on to my Christmas list.

    Then, I saw these versions for knitters:



    How much better for a knitter!


    I just placed my own Christmas order for these.  Looking forward to some coloring time!

  • knitting1105 4:19 pm on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    A New Shop, and a New Skill 

    A new knitting shop recently opened in the old space of Knot Just Knits, in downtown Oak Park, Fiberista.  they have been an Indy dyer for years, and have recently opened a shop featuring a lot of different dyers.  It is really a lovely place to shop and gather inspiration.  They also sell Kromski wheels, and spinning supplies, not that I need either.  If only they had Dale of Norway, or Rauma yarns, I would consider it practically perfect.

    So, on my first visit, I purchased a gift and some yarn for myself. I envision a beautiful pair of gradating mittens with this.


    Then I went back to get yarn to make a cowl.  This is a really soft wool/silk blend by Mountain Colors.  My old favorite yarn store in Elmhurst (now closed) used to carry Mountain Colors, and I loved their yarn.


    I used a free pattern found on Ravelry, Sea Scales Cowl, and in the process I learned a new to me technique to do a long tail cast-on in 3×3 rib.  Here is the video:

    And this is the end result, I think a very pretty cowl.



    • Diane Hamilton 4:45 pm on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      This is very nice. Isn’t it amazing that there is always something new to learn no matter how experienced you are. Glad you found a new shop to spend your money at and a great place for Christmas shopping for the family.

      Liked by 1 person

    • suth2 3:25 pm on December 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Like you I have just learnt a new skiil, Judy’s Magic Cast On. I used it to start off a hot water bottle cover. I love it when I learn something new for my knitting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 5:31 pm on December 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        The beauty of knitting is that there is always something new that one can learn!

        Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 11:48 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Merry Christmas! 

    • Erin 2:24 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      And a very merry Christmas to you too!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 3:41 pm on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Very cute—Merry Christmas to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • conniewockensolle 3:35 am on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      can’t you wait?

      still not christmas anyway… 9 more days…


      • knitting1105 11:25 am on December 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I love to celebrate the Season! Actually, I was going to post it later an accidentally hit the post button, and thought “What the Heck”! Merry Christmas!


        • conniewockensolle 12:40 pm on December 17, 2015 Permalink

          yes, christmas time makes many of us unpatient… ;=)


    • natas75 8:02 am on December 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy holidays, merry Christmas and a happy new year 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 12:46 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply
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    Girl’s Weekend 

    Blog Photos473

    I have not posted a lot recently, as I have been knitting the same pattern over and over again.  For last weekend’s 3rd annual girls away retreat, I made a pair of fingerless mitts for everyone in attendance (Free pattern here).  As the list grew and grew, I had to knit faster.  Luckily there were not any last minute additions.

    Blog Photos480

    It was so much fun to give these out.  I laid them on my bed and invited everyone in to choose a pair.

    A glove toast!

    Blog Photos484

    The weekend was at a beautiful house on the shores of Lake Michigan.  My first step into my home State in over a year (the longest time away ever).

    A weekend of great friends

    Blog Photos474

    Amazing food

    Blog Photos476

    And a few drinks…

    Blog Photos485

    So much laughter. Until next year…

    Blog Photos479

    • natas75 1:00 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      What a lovely idea. It seems like you all had a blast..

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 2:48 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like a lot of fun with good friends and I bet they loved their fingerless mitts, what a thoughtful gift. I miss Michigan and the beach too. Hope to be there this summer for a trip to Mackinac Island.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 3:11 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        This was a lot of fun, and the mitts were a big hit. I want to join you on Mackinac Island if possible.


    • Erin 3:25 pm on December 9, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful pics–looks like tons of fun! And I love the mittens–thanks for sharing the pattern!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Michelle Metes 11:00 pm on December 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Looks like it was a Good Time, Frances! Need to start knitting my fingerless mittens, again. Friends have been asking for the pattern where you do a cable stitch on the back of hand section. Will look around for another pattern, but I do like yours! Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

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