Guess what? I’m here and finally posting. If I still have any readers left, please excuse my absence. We’ve been going through more difficult times here, as my husband has a recurrence of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He is supposed to have a stem cell transplant. However, they haven’t been able to collect enough stem cells, so they’re on to plan B. Plan B is that he will be given a type of chemo which forces stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood. We are hoping and praying that this will work. It has been such a roller coaster!

In any case, I did not have the energy or inclination to knit, if you can imagine. I didn’t have the energy or inclination to blog either. However, I’m back to it now! After my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s the first time, it was knitting a special baby gift that brought me back to knitting. The same thing has happened this time too. I have four friends who have all had baby boys! There is nothing like concentrating on the joy of newborn babies to revive your spirits!

Something else brought me back to knitting too,….a visit from my mother-in-law. She was knitting, and I missed it. It was as simple as that. I took her to my knitting groups and we had a lot of fun. I also took her to the Briggs and Little Woolen Mill, which is located a short drive away.

Briggs and Little Woolen Mill Briggs and Little Woolen Mill

Briggs and Little Woolen Mill Briggs and Little Woolen Mill

My mother-in-law walked into the yarn shop before I did, and all of a sudden I heard squeals and exclamations coming from inside! The wool fumes got her! It was hilarious! She had been looking for substitute yarn to make the A Walk In The Parka cardigan, from the latest Creative Knitting magazine. The pattern calls for Cottage Craft Woolens yarn, which happens to be made by….Briggs and Little! What a surprise! She bought the yarn that the pattern called for. The people at Briggs and Little weren’t aware of this particular pattern, made with their yarn. The lady, who was helping us, took the pattern to show the rest of the staff, and I heard more squeals coming from the back room! There are also patterns in the Twist Collective, by the way, made from Briggs and Little yarn, which are creating some excitement. They are Roo, by Kate Gilbert, and Sylvi, by Mari Muinonen.

Briggs and Little Woolen Mill

Anywho, my husband and children decided to discretely back away from the mayhem. They took a walk by the lake, and enjoyed the scenery outside. 😉

Gorge at Briggs and Little Woolen Mill

Lake at Briggs and Little Woolen Mill

My mother-in-law bought three sweaters worth of yarn, plus more for good measure! I bought some of Briggs and Little’s new Softspun yarn, in Dusty Rose.

As chance would have it, my knitting friends have been encouraging me to enter some of my knitting in our local exhibition/fair. There is apparently a lady who contributes an entry for every category, every year. She walks in with a huge Tupperware container full of knitting. In any case, most of the entries are very traditional, and my friends would like to see more contributions that show new techniques. So I picked up my knitting again. I had so many unfinished items, and this was the push I needed to complete them. Briggs and Little happens to sponsor a Briggs and Little category, and I had a work-in-progress made from Briggs and Little yarn! I can’t tell you how long I’ve been working on this project. It seems like forever, and now it’s finally finished!

Meet Fanny:

Fanny

  • Pattern: Carousel Horse, designed by Ellen Sibelius (This was a free web pattern through Interweave…not currently available.)
  • Materials: Briggs and Little, Tuffy
  • Needles: 5mm
  • Modifications: I did not felt this item. So, I did not knit double stranded and I used smaller needles than were called for in the pattern.

Fanny Fanny

My daughter can not quite believe that Fanny is finished either, but she is delighted! I haven’t been so rewarded by a project since Curly The Cow. However, the fiddly bits on Fanny almost put her in permanent hibernation. Let’s not dwell on that. She’s finished! Wahoo! Not only that, but she won first prize in the Briggs and Little competition! My daughter was so excited that Fanny had a ribbon on her! She was also proud of her mommy. It was great!

First Prize!

I’m rather proud too; I have to admit. It was a challenge just to get Fanny finished, and I got hugs from my daughter, plus a ribbon and a Briggs and Little gift certificate to show for it!

I didn’t mean to be gone so long! The last time I wrote, I tried to convey that I had a strange sense of foreboding. Well, strange things did, in fact, happen around here. Then, I got sick. I’ve had a head cold/cough for the better part of a month. I just started to feel like it was going away…aaaaaaaannd then it was back. Now, finally, I think I have the upper hand! I’m feeling my energy return, and just in the nick of time. I have to scramble, because I’m a bit behind in Christmas preparations! Luckily, my knitting mojo didn’t desert me. I knit and read a lot, in between the coughing fits. Okay, whining over.

So, how have you all been? I hope you’re all looking forward to the holidays. I’m looking forward to having my family all together this Christmas. My sister will be traveling from Ottawa, and I can’t wait ’til she gets here. Both of my kids had school Christmas concerts, which were so enjoyable. I was amazed that my 4 year old son didn’t get stage fright. He actually sang, until he saw the movie projection behind him. That was evidently far more interesting than singing. So, he spent the rest of the concert facing backwards. My husband and I had a good laugh, and we have a nice videotape of the back of my son’s head.

So, I’ll show you a couple of the things I knit. Due to my cold, I felt the need for some warm woollies. I have been wanting to knit this scarf for a long time, and I finally got around to it. It was a fun, quick knit.

My So Called Scarf

My So Called Scarf

My So Called Scarf

Yes, that’s me, sick as all get out, standing in the snow without a hat on! Well, I knit a hat too.

Turn a Brim

  • Materials: Belfast Mini-Mills Ltd. Chunky Merino Wool, 1 skein.
  • Needles: 4mm for the ribbing, & 4.5mm.
  • Sometime I’ll knit a fancy schmancy hat, to go with the scarf. However, right now, my aim was warmth, so I chose the thickest yarn I had in the stash, and it happened to be winter white. This hat is a cross between the Turn A Square hat, by Jared Flood, and the Brangelina hat, by Crazy Aunt Purl. I had a problem with stretchy cast-ons. I started with Eunny’s tubular cast on, which wasn’t nearly stretchy enough. I ripped that out and started again with Ysolda’s version of the tubular cast on, which was much more stretchy but very bulky looking. I carried on and knit the hat anyway. When I was finished the whole hat, I ripped out the cast on, picked up the stitches, and did a sewn loose cast off instead. The hat was knit with 96 stitches. I used the smaller needles for the 3×1 ribbing. After the ribbed portion, I purled the last stitch on the round, then I wrapped a stitch (bring yarn to the back of the work, slip one stitch from the left needle to the right one, bring yarn to the front of the work, slip the stitch back to the left needle). Then I pushed the knitting through the middle of the needles, and began knitting on the other side of the work. What was once the inside of the hat, became the outside. This makes the right side of the brim show, when it is folded back. I switched to the larger needles, continued in knitting, and did the decreases according to the Turn A Square pattern.

    For another fancy schmancy hat to go with the scarf,  I have some dark green Malabrigo, or rust Malabrigo. Which should it be?

It has been a rather rough week. Sadly, my grandmother passed away at the age of 93. It should have been expected I suppose; however, I was really beginning to think she could go on forever. I don’t think I can say much more about that, at the moment. Anyway, isn’t it weird, when you’re out of sorts anyway, how many other things can go wrong? As each thing goes wrong, it snowballs to the point of absurdity? That has been my week. Murphy’s Law. I’m hoping that, somehow, Halloween will break the cycle. Don’t ask me my reasoning. It can’t be explained.

So, in an attempt to avoid tripping over my words, or whatever else could go wrong, I’m going to keep this short and sweet….another blog post in pictures. Here is Robin Hood Jacket #2:

Robin Hood Jacket #2

Robin Hood Jacket #2

  • Pattern: Robin Hood Jacket, by Zoë Mellor
    Source: Adorable Knits For Tots
  • Materials: Rowan Cork (Discontinued), Colour 031 Vapor, 6.5 skeins
  • Needles: Knit Picks Interchangeable Circs, 6.5mm and 8mm
  • Modification: I did the 1-2 year size, extended the length of body, sleeves, and hood, and it fits my 4 year old son.

Robin Hood Jacket #2

Robin Hood Jacket #2 Robin Hood Jacket #2

Robin Hood Jacket #2 Robin Hood Jacket #2

Here are our two kiddos together, with their matchy sweaters.

Robin Hood Jacket #2

Robin Hood Jacket #2

While taking photos for a blog post certainly takes up a lot of time, it is the actual editing and choosing of the photos that is overwhelming sometimes. That task was nearly impossible for me this time. So, I’m sorry, but this is going to be a blog post in pictures. I can’t narrow it down any further than I have.

So, here we have it, my most recent finished project. It was seamed on Sunday.

Robin Hood Jacket

Robin Hood Jacket

  • Pattern: Robin Hood Jacket, by Zoë Mellor
  • Source: Adorable Knits For Tots
  • Materials: Rowan Cork (Discontinued), Colour 038 Bug, 9 skeins
  • Needles: Knit Picks Interchangeable Circs, 6.5mm and 8mm
  • Modification: I did the 3-4 year size, extended the length of body and sleeves, and it fits my 6 year old daughter with room to spare. Go figure.

Robin Hood Jacket

This project has been in my queue, since long before there was a Ravelry. I knew that I wanted to use the yarn called for in the pattern, Rowan Cork. Unfortunately, it was discontinued. Despite being a bulky yarn, it is lofty and relatively light. I thought it would be perfect for a child’s sweater. It also has subtle colour variation that is appealing to me. So, I waited, and I waited, until I finally found some on EBay, in my daughter’s favourite colour, green. She is also very fond of the colour name, BUG.

Robin Hood Jacket

I love the cables, but I think the hood is my favourite part. I knit it (the hood) the same length as specified in the pattern. I took some pictures of the hood, while my daughter played in her little playhouse. You can pick; click to embiggen.

Robin Hood Jacket Robin Hood Jacket

Robin Hood Jacket Robin Hood Jacket

Robin Hood Jacket Robin Hood Jacket

Does anyone know how hard it is to take photos of an active six year old? “Please, sweety, hold still?” Anyway, we had fun…..walking in the woods….

Robin Hood Jacket Robin Hood Jacket

…up a tree….

Robin Hood Jacket Robin Hood Jacket

… at the playground…

Robin Hood Jacket Robin Hood Jacket

…and on a nature hunt.

Robin Hood Jacket

Robin Hood Jacket

We had fun!! She’s such a good sport, our sweet, lovely girl.

Robin Hood Jacket

…And I’m back. I thought I should blog something, before people think that something happened to me. All is well. I didn’t mean do be missing in action for so long. I was on a genealogy research bender. I got a lead and couldn’t stop working on it. It’s like solving a mystery. All of my computer time was devoted to tracking down information, and organizing it. Anyway, I do have a finished item to share with you!

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

 

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

 

I had to show that third picture.

Conversation with my husband:

Me: “Do I look like I have duck feet in the second picture?”
DH: “No, but your ankles look really wide in the first one.”
Me: “Well, I’m keeping the first one, because the colour is accurate, and you can see the heel.”
DH incredulously: “Are your feet sticking up in the air in that third shot?”
Me: “Yes, it’s hard to take pictures of your own feet.”
DH: (here’s the kicker): “Were you clothed?
Me: (while giving the evil eye): “No, I just thought that while the kids are home with colds, I would lie on the floor, buck n*ckid, and take pictures, in front of the window, of my merino wool clad feet! Just because my feet are in the air, I must be unclothed?? Men!”
DH: “No, I just thought your skin looked blue.”
Me: “Oh. Right.”

Hee hee! I love him! Just to let anyone know, who may be in doubt, yes, I was wearing all of my clothing. (Edited to add: I think he’s just jealous, ’cause he wants my socks.)

 

Healthy Spine Toe-up Socks

The actual colour is not so red.

 

Okie dokie then, moving on…
I’ve been tagged by Alicia for the 7 Random things meme.

“Here are the rules, and they must be posted to your blog. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog and also so they can look at your blog and not tag the same people all over again!”

Here are my random answers, in random order:

  1. I don’t like filling out forms, and will do almost anything to avoid it.
  2. I wore braces as a teenager.
  3. I once dated the doctor who did Jennifer Love Hewitt’s b**b job enhancement. Once dated. Literally. One date. It just wasn’t meant to be. That was in his med school days. Nice website Pete! 🙂 How’s that for random?
  4. I don’t like the feeling of wearing nail polish.
  5. I sold a pair of underwear to Colin James, and a pair of pants to his guitar player, when I worked at Harry Rosen eons ago. Oooooooo.
  6. I love lobster! Yummy!
  7. I go by my middle name. That was my parents’ idea.

Wait, there’s more! Carol gave me the “You Make My Day” award! That made my day! Thanks so much Carol!

 

You Make My Day

 

Instructions: “Give the award to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get the award several times.”

So, what I’m going to do is tag 10 people, and they can consider themselves tagged for both the meme, and the award. If you’ve done the meme before, don’t worry about doing it again. Of course, I love all of the biggy blogs, like Brooklyn Tweed, Wendy Knits, Grumperina, and Yarn Harlot, but I think they probably get a number of awards. What I thought I’d do, this time, is concentrate on the blogs of people who live somewhat near me. I have been fortunate to meet a number of these people in person. It has been fun to find out that there are other knitbloggers in my part of the world. Reading their blogs really does make my day! Here they are in no particular order:

  1. Carol, back at you!
  2. Heather
  3. Kelly
  4. CanKnitian
  5. Byrne
  6. Alison
  7. Lesley
  8. Deb
  9. Tanya
  10. Line
  11. Mary

Okay, so I listed eleven blogs, not ten. My bad. Spread the cheer!