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  • knitting1105 8:54 pm on November 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: meijers, neapolitan ice cream, purple cow   

    Neapolitan 

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    Growing up, ice cream was always a treat.  Wonderful homemade ice cream that my mother cooked on a stovetop with eggs and cream, which then me and my siblings would take turns hand churning on the patio.  After the ice cream was finished and taken inside, we had timed contests to see who could stand the longest barefoot in the icy cold water of the ice cream freezer. That was the best ice cream that I have ever had, ever will.

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    My Paternal Grandfather was a big gentle giant (to the grandkids at least).  Every Sunday, he would drive over in the pickup truck with my diminutive, sweetest woman ever, Grandmother.  We would run out to greet Grandpa, and there were a lot of us, to jump up in his arms, and reach in his shirt pocket for the pack of Juicy Fruit gum that he always came with.  Growing up in a large family, 10 children, on a farm and limited resources, the treats were few and far between.  But, I think that if you ever ask any one of my siblings, we consider our childhood to be full of riches.  And, we had our own baseball team in the side yard!  Every Sunday, Grandpa also brought a gallon of Vanilla ice cream to have after dinner.  Perhaps one of my siblings can remember the brand name of the ice cream, it escapes me now.

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    So, other ice cream flavors were always a treat.  When the large Meijer Thrifty Acres opened in Lansing 20+ miles away, my parents would trek there each week to load up on provisions (this was also where my mother bought my first yarn for projects for me).  Two children at a time were allowed to come along, a younger one and an older one to watch them.  How we waited for our turn to go shopping, as it meant penny horse rides,

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    and most importantly, as our parents were checking out, money to go and get a single scoop of ice cream at the Meijer’s ice cream parlor, the only one many of us went to for years.  The Purple Cow poem hung above the large selection of flavors to choose from, and this poem still frequently pops in my head.  This was a huge treat for us.  I remember loving the gumball flavor as I was attracted to the swirl of colors, but it was always a tough choice.

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    At home, the ice cream luxury, when something other than vanilla was proffered, was Neapolitan.  Putting that ice cream scoop into the box and getting a swirl of flavors was magical (although admittedly, I always tried to maximize my chocolate portions).

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    So, when I saw this yarn, which has been in my stash for a very long time, memories immediately came flooding back.

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    This is a self striping yarn, that was all the rage a few years back.  At one point I even tried to sell it.  I believe that it was purchased at a yarn store closing event, years ago.   In my effort to knit from stash, this was pulled out, and I knew what it needed to become!:

    This is now my favorite cheating treat:

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    • Diane F Hamilton 10:02 pm on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Very special and loving memories. I do remember Mom occasionally taking more than 2 kids (maybe it was at Christmas time). I have always said we were much richer than others who had money. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 2:20 pm on November 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: baby mittens, dog themed mittens, thumbless mittens   

    Tiny Hands 

    Tiny Hands get cold too.  This pattern for thumbless mittens was made a few years ago for baby Ria.  I knew that a certain Colorado Baby-to-be would need these also.

    Pattern: Nordic Baby Mitts
    Pattern Source: Free from Knituition
    Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull, teal blue and mint green
    Needles: US 2
    Date Started: 11/?/17
    Date Finished: 11/20/17
    Finished Dimensions: baby 6-9 months

    Next, I decided to try my hand at designing a pair of mittens, ones that the parents would love.  Had to be dog themed of course.  I had a lot of fun with this, and would love to publish the finished pattern.  For years, I have been on the search for a good knitting pattern template that I could use.  If there are any suggestions out there, it would be much appreciated.

    The first mitten took a bit of trial and error, both in getting checkerboard pattern that worked and minimized dealing with long floats.  I am really happy with how they turned out, these are a bit bigger than the first, and I also opted for inserting a string to tie them on with.

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    After looking at the photos, I feel that they both would do with a nick soaking and drying flat to even out the stitches.  So excited to gift these.

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    • Diane Hamilton 3:29 pm on November 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What a lucky little girl! These are adorable, I like the pink ones the best. These are perfect stocking stuffers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 5:26 pm on November 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, they are planned as stocking stuffers.

        Like

    • Elaine 4:59 pm on November 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love these. What a fun way to do baby mitts 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 3:52 pm on November 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Socks by Bob 

    On Black Friday, I think that it is time to think of others, and not consumerism.  Bob epitomizes that.  Love this story.

     
  • knitting1105 11:46 am on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    English Tailoring Part II 

    A few years back, I took a class at Vogue Knitting from CocoKnits on English tailoring, and loved it.  We made a baby sweater in that class, which I gave to a friend’s grandson.  I repeated a similar class with her a couple of years later, hoping to hone this process and apply it to more sweaters.  Most recently, I gave Dan yarn for Christmas last year, and have attempted to knit one of CocoKnits top down sweaters for him, I had great difficulty with the gauge, and he has yet to receive that sweater.  I am thinking that this might be a good Holiday project for me…

    So, I posted recently that I was working on this Dale of Norway baby sweater, and wanted to do the set in sleeves as the English tailoring method.  I am proud to say that I have completed this, there was a bit of ripping back and experimenting, but I am quite proud of the end result.

    The only seaming is a few stitches under the arm.  And, the fit is a nice shoulder.

    This sweater has a sweet flower pattern at the bottom.  The pattern called for knitting the fair isle back and forth, but I choose to knit it in the round for those few rows, and steek it.

    I also knit the sleeves in the round.  These few adaptations really made this work as a great English tailoring sweater.

    Hoping to sew the short steek soon and finish this up.

    Julie Weisenberger is a really great teacher and I would highly recommend her classes.  If you are not able to take one of her classes, I highly recommend her new book, which I purchased this past year.

     

    Julie also has several great tutorials on her website that you all should check out, regardless of whether you use the English tailoring method.  I am always on the lookout for new techniques that either minimize finishing or give my knitted objects a more finished professional look.

    Another book that comes to mind is The “I Hate to Finish Sweaters” Guide to Finishing Sweaters.  This is a great book on sweater finishing, i.e. thinking about how you set up your sweater before you start knitting.  Many, many years ago I took a finishing class, and the instructor recommended this book.  It is a short spiral bound book, and one that I refer to over and over again.  I saw it on Amazon for $36!, but found reasonably priced copies here.

     

     
    • Diane Hamilton 12:29 am on November 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The baby sweater is so pretty, I always admire your talent and skill in knitting. The time you put into these gifts is something that can’t be measured.

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:45 am on November 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    From one Generation to the Next 

    A couple of years ago, long before marriages or grandchildren were on my radar, I packed up a lot of Ethan and Sofia’s sweaters that I had made for them when they were little, and sent them off for nieces and nephews to use.  When Ethan announced that they were expecting, I knew that I needed this sweater back.  In fact, Dan asked about it as it was the one that he wore the most.

    I can still picture him in this, in fact I need to find a photo of him in it.  I love the little hearts all over it.  There was a companion one that is packed away that was made for Sofia in multiple colors (she was 6 and took the sweater and then told me not to knit anything else for her!).

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    This sweater was also knit for Ethan at about the same time, although he did not wear it as extensively.

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    And this was a bit earlier.  My knitting skills have improved greatly since this.

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    And these 3 sweaters date back to Sofia.

    A lovely purple cotton summer sweater

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    A creamy white pullover

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    And this sweater which is nice and warm and cuddly.

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    And, there were a few sweaters that never made the cut to be saved.  I am surprising myself at how prolific I was even with 2 little kids, and watching another to boot.   It is amazing the memories that flood back looking at these sweaters.  Hoping that this new generation cherishes them as much.

     

     
  • knitting1105 4:30 pm on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Haunting 

    Abandoned buildings have always intrigued me, especially ones where it looked like someone just walked away one day.  When I was a teenager, my best friend and I would take day long rides on our horses.   The memory of an abandoned house in the woods that we would often go to is still there.  Seeing these photos of this abandoned textile mill from the UK brought back those childhood memories.

    It looks like the door was just closed one day and nobody ever remembered to open it.

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    • Diane F Hamilton 9:12 pm on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, and the magic you could have done with all that yarn.

      Like

    • Elaine 6:31 pm on November 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Makes you wonder what happened to make the owners and staff walk out the door one day and never come back.

      Like

  • knitting1105 3:10 pm on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , baby booties, baby hat, baby surprise jacket, , ,   

    Radio Silence is Over 

    I have been conspicuously absent in my postings this summer, and it was all for good reason.  My son and DIL are expecting a baby in December, and I have been knitting away to present these items to them at the baby shower.  The shower was held last weekend, and attended by all of Ethan’s high school friends, some from college, and many of Dan and I’s friends.

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    It was a lot of fun, and they received many nice gifts which will go a long way in helping them to get their young family established.  It was nice to celebrate, as we never really had a large wedding celebration like there was for Sofia and Mark, where I knit her this beautiful shawl.

    So, here goes, fair warning that there will be a lot of photos here.  Most made with Dale of Norway Baby Ull, which I had to stock up on.  For those of you still looking for the one place in the US that carries it, you need to go to Heart of the Mitten.  Not quite sure why they are limiting the sales just to this store, but at least it is still available for the time being.

    First, a pattern that I have knit more times than I can count.  It is an old booklet that my mother had from the 50’s, and as a child I knit baby sweaters from this for my mother’s friends and family.  I used a variegated sock yarn, and Baby Ull of course.  This is a wonderful baby pattern, as the raglan sleeves work well for a newborn.

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    And a matching hat

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    This makes such a cute set.

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    Next, I believe that this is from the same booklet.  And, this also is a pattern that I have made in the past.

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    This sweater got matching booties and a hat.

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    Then, I needed to make an Elizabeth Zimmerman baby surprise jacket as well.  I had made one from some of my early handspun a few years ago for my niece, and my sister loved it.  So here it is with handspun yarn, and some funky square buttons. It is so incredibly soft and squishy.

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    And lastly, my favorite baby booties, Christine’s Baby Booties that really stay on.  A free pattern from Knitty.

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    And of course, they needed a hat to go along with them.  These were made after we knew that the baby is to be a girl.

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    More in the work now that are gender specific…

     
    • Diane F Hamilton 3:17 pm on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      These are all beautiful, that is one lucky baby! I will have to make sure Sayaka shows these to me when we see her on Wednesday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 7:16 pm on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You won’t be able to see them until Dan drives the things out in a couple of weeks. They are really cute though!

      Like

    • Pam 9:22 pm on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      One is more beautiful than the next. What a lucky baby to have you in charge of her knitted wardrobe.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elaine 4:27 am on October 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What a lucky lucky baby your granddaughter is. Beautiful patterns and lovely colours and congratulations, by the way. Is she expected before or after Christmas?

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 11:05 am on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Buttons and Color 

    Several of my projects were in need of buttons.  The local fabric store closed last year, and there is nothing close by.  It seems as if fabric and sewing and buttons are not in vogue at the moment.  Perhaps with the resurgence of knitting, sewing will be next.  Our clothes should bear the true cost of production, and be made with a living wage, perhaps then people would value quality and take care of clothes.

    Soutache is the closest button shop, and I love it.  Not as extensive as some that I have frequented in the past, but very good. They also sell ribbons, and do a lot of wedding embellishments.  My husband went with me, and we had a great time choosing buttons for projects, and a few extra for the future.

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    I choose the vintage buttons for a sweater that I finished years ago, I think that they will be perfect!

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    The sweater that this is destined for was finished in 2006!  I have worn it a bit, but it will be nice to have buttons on it.  This post was titled All finished except for the buttons.  I had not realized that it had been that long.  I think that these are perfect!

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    Poems of Color

     

    Poems of color

    Poems of Color

    I have also been playing with color recently, I will have results to show soon, but I love the vibrant colors of the Baby Ull by Dale of Norway.  It is disappointing that there is only one place in the US now to get this.  I have stashed up significantly though.

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    • salpal1 2:00 pm on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      OK, I’ll bite. Where can I still get Baby Ull? I see it all discontinued and limited colors (on sale, though!) in my usual places. Why would Dale of Norway do this to us?

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 12:33 am on October 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the buttons are perfect for our sweater and the Baby Ull colors are beautiful.

      Like

    • Pam 6:49 am on October 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Are you going to share your source for Baby Ull? Grandmothers do need to stick together!

      Like

  • knitting1105 2:18 pm on October 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Birthday Recap 

    Every year some of the September 22nd Birthday Ravelry friends get together for a birthday exchange.  It is one of my favorite things, and I look forward to it every year.  Who doesn’t want a fellow knitter to splurge on goodies for them?

    This year I was spoiled again.  First there was a gift for Francoise (me) and Mr. Francoise:

    Birthday Gifts 2017

    We are expecting our first Grandchild in December, and these gifts were truly special.  I wish that I had the same books filled out by my parents.  So many questions that I would love to have asked.

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    Next was some beautiful yarn, and some gorgeous fiber to spin.  I need to find a special pattern for the gorgeous lace yarn.

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    Then a cool small project bag, to go with the large project bag from last year’s exchange.

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    And a handwoven coaster that is sitting on my desk at school.

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    I got to open this and a couple of gifts from friends before heading out to Michigan and sitting on the beach for a historically hot weekend.  I had never swum in Lake Michigan on my Birthday.  Blessed.

    And, in looking back at my posts from the past year, I could not find where I had posted about last years exchange.  That was a hectic Fall, and I was late in getting my gift out.  Here was the loot from last year too, which includes a large Ravelry project bag:

    Birthday Gifts 2016

    Birthday Gifts 2016

    Birthday Gifts 2016

     
    • Michelle Metes 5:46 pm on October 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      So nice to have friends to share your interests with, who know exactly what you’d like for an yearly occasion like this.
      Congratulations on your upcoming Grammahood! ☺️

      Like

  • knitting1105 8:58 pm on September 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    The Verdict is in, Sort of… 

    Well, my Oxo non chlorine whitener came in the mail and I soaked the wine spilled sweater.  The wine stains did come out, but it lightened some of the areas, so the color is just a little bit off.  I am not exactly pleased with the results, and think that I will over-dye it someday.  For the moment it is going in the cedar chest, and I will deal with it in the future.

    So, we went from this:

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    To this:

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    I do think that it is salvageable, just not something that I want to deal with at the present.  the trim color around the wrist and neckline was to be a different color anyways, so going a bit darker should not pose any problems.  It has been years since I have dyed any fabric, and I am not a fiber dyer.  Do people still use Ritz dyes that we used to purchase at the grocery store?  Hopefully I can convince one of my friends who dyes fiber to help me with this next spring or summer.  Jane???….

    In the meantime, I made one of my favorite baby bootie patterns, Christine’s Stay on Baby Booties.  These are part of a knitted baby package for a charitable auction. Knit with my favorite Baby Ull by Dale of Norway, which is not to be sold in the US anymore.

    😦

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    • Summer 7:49 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh what a shame about the stain remover. How frustrating. Love the baby bootees though 🙂

      Like

    • salpal1 9:34 am on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      that’s my favorite bootie pattern as well, and baby ull is perfect for it. WHAT DO YOU MEAN NOT SOLD IN THE US ANYMORE? Should I be stockpiling it if I find it?????

      Like

    • Diane F Hamilton 7:11 pm on September 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      From the pictures, I think the OxO worked pretty well. Probably you are the only one that will ever notice the spot. I used Ritz dye last year on a sweater Traver had that got ink stains from a pen in the washer! It worked pretty well and he was pleased with the result.

      Like

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