Friday, December 5, 2008

Twinkle Twinkle

Twinkle Twinkle
Originally uploaded by pezdiva
We have a new Twinkler in our house, this is a huge big deal in Suzuki land.

Louis learned 'Twinkle' all on his own a few weeks ago, and then he had to teach me. He is now working on the sound of his music, he is trying hard to make the most beautiful sound on his violin as he can. Considering he is your average rough and tumble 6 year old who started violin just a few months, I think he is doing a pretty great job. This video was taken after a long day of school, park day, and group lesson so he is a bit tired but we wanted to put it up anyway.

Since he is doing so well on all 6 Twinkle variations, he got to learn
'Jingle Bells' - just in time for the holiday season, so fun. It is a funny thing this Suzuki stuff, Louis has already picked up how to play 'Lightly Row', again, on his own.

Suzuki is the anchor of our homeschooling, and even though we haven't been doing it for too long I can't imagine not doing it now. It has taught me so much about how Louis' brain works, and it really is fun to play and learn together. Miranda is so jealous of Louis doing all of this without her. We can't get her to keep her hands off his violin, thankfully she starts lessons in January, she is crazy excited. I don't think I would be very off base saying that even Bill is jealous.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

It's that time of year. The cold Chicago winter is setting in and my kids need their woolies. I've been working on a set for Matthew made from Miss Babs 100% Superwash Merino in Verdigris. I made him a pair of basic mittens from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns.
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Then I made him the Lina hat. I love this pattern. I think it looks so difficult when it's not.

And now I'm chugging away on the scarf. I'm using the Berlin Scarf pattern, which is just brioche stitch. I'm really liking it. It's so squishy and there's only one row to the pattern - no purling, so you can really fly along.

Now, in the interests of honesty, I have to tell you I made another hat for Matthew first. He asked for a moose hat because I call him my little moose. It had to be green and orange to match his new coat. I was being cheap, I admit it. I tried to knit the hat out of some acrylic I picked up at Hobby Lobby.

It's been a long time since I was embarrassed by something I knit. I didn't swatch, so the hat is too big. And we won't even discuss what I was thinking to try to do stranded colorwork with acrylic. I still see the potential in my idea though. I used the Norwegian Star Earflap Hat (Ravelry link) pattern for the shape and then I modified the charts from the Baby Norgi sweater for the colorwork. I think with the proper gauge and, oh, I don't know...WOOL, this could have been awesome. Maybe after some time has passed I'll give it another go.

Next up, holiday knitting! Let the crazy begin!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Halloween

Pattern: Bat with Jack O'Lantern by Barbara Prime at Fuzzy Mitten

Yarn: Bernat Alpaca Blends and Caron Simply Soft (I know, but it's toy! Besides they are both nice and soft.)

Needles: US Size 6

Mods: None

This was a really well written pattern. I was so impressed with how well it came out. Trust me, it was the product of the pattern, not the knitter in this case. This little guy is destined for my bat obsessed niece for her 5th birthday. I think I will add a bow around his neck and wrap him up with two new books, Bats at the Beach and Bats at the Library. Check them out if you get the chance. Really cute, rhyming story and great illustrations.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rosebud Baby Set

I knit this little set for my brand new baby niece, Tiffanie Ann. She was born last night. Coincidentally, I mailed this out yesterday. She was 3 days overdue and I had a feeling when I mailed the package that it would be good luck.

Patterns: Rosebud by Susan B. Anderson, One-Piece Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting and Simple Shoes by Uniform Studio.

Yarn: Peaches & Creme and Lily Sugar 'n Cream

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This weekend I abandoned my children and husband and went to Rhinebeck, NY for my very first NY Sheep and Wool Festival.

The surroundings very beautiful. The foliage, the foliage...well, you just don't get colors like that in Chicago.

On Friday, my friends and I hiked to Kaaterskill Falls. Amazing. Gorgeous. We followed it up a lovely dinner at Stella's in Kingston.

Saturday, we hit the festival. It was clear, crisp, and cold! Which made for a fun game of name that pattern. There were lots of beautiful sweaters, hats, and shawls. We pet alpacas, lamas, bunnies, and sheep.

And almost immediately after came across this sign:

Don't worry. We didn't have any. We did decide to try the Philly cheesesteak though. (Hint: if you are from Chicago, this is not going to be good choice. It is not the same.) The hot apples and ice cream on a cinnamon bun fully made up for it though.

In the end, I purchased 2 skeins of wool from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. 1 for me to make Matty a pinwheel blanket and a smaller, bulkier skein for Maggie to knit herself something.

I also snagged a skein of Cameloo (camel, merino, and bamboo) from Still River Mill. I think it will be a cowl for me.

And I picked up an exquisite skein of Frolicking Feet in "Cherry Pits" from Done Roving. We ended up skipping the Ravelry party though. It was just too cold and my sister had the beginnings of a sinus infection. Instead we grabbed a bottle of wine and takeout and set up shop in the hotel lobby. We chatted with the other knitters and generally had a fun evening.

Sunday was spent wandering Rhinebeck's downtown and tasting at Ailson Winery. We popped in and out of shops. My friends even bought me the cashmere and silk pashmina I feel in love with for my birthday! We ended the day at Gigi Trattoria. The best risotto I have ever had.

Then we packed the car and headed back to the airport. Fabulous weekend. I can't wait to do it again.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

10 to go!

Pattern: Gathered Pullover from Interweave Knits Fall2007

Yarn: Dale of Norway Svale

Needles:US Size 8

Mods: I started with a larger size on the bottom to accommodate my hips and decreased evenly up to the waist, creating an a-line silhouette. I used short row shaping and a three-needles bind off at the shoulders. Then I picked up stitches around the armholes and did the sleeve caps with short rows as described by Barbara Walker in Knitting from the Top and continued knitting the sleeves in the round to the end. I picked up the neckline and joined it at the center back, decreasing at the center point of the v-neck to bring it in just a little.

Verdict: LOVE IT! The cotton silk blend makes it a perfect 3 season sweater. I was worried that it would stretch out with wearing, but it's holding up nicely. The only thing I would change if I knit it again would be to hem the edges instead of rolling. I think it would dress it up a bit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Knitcircus Issue #4

Well, I got the okay to share the super secret knitting. It will appear in the fall issue of Knitcircus.

Butterfly Dreams Mittens

They will also be publishing Moose's Argyle Vest in additional sizing.

Both patterns are already on Ravelry. Knitcircus will be available October 1st for $7.50.

Thank you to everyone how encouraged me and gave me a much needed push down this road!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another weekend, another hat

A Better Bucket Hat

Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist, Baby Twist in Purple & Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK in Turquoise
Needles: US size 6
Mods: To make it Maggie sized, I used DK weight yarn, size 6 needles, and I didn't make the hat as deep as the pattern specifies.

The flower is the 5-Petal Flower available here.

I think I'd like to block the brim a little to enhance it's flare. I, maybe, should have switched from the contrast color under the brim to the main color a round sooner, but I sort of like the row of turquoise purl bumps at the bottom. I think I want to make one for me next. Black with something bright under the brim, maybe orange.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Capitan Hat

In addition to the ogre hat, I knit up Rosi G.'s Capitan Hat this weekend. It was a fun and fast knit on US size 10 needles and Encore worsted held doubled. I used about 1 ball, making it a $7 project. The best thing about it is it's flattering on just about everyone. Maggie, my sister, my mom, and I all tried it on and it was cute on everyone. I'll have to think about a couple more of these for the holidays. This one, I think, is destined for my SIL.

This is also going to the hat contest at Gene Ann's Yarns. If you're interested, the deadline for submissions is October 15. Votes for your favorites will be accepted until November 15. Popular vote decides the winner, who will take home a $100 gift ceritifacte to Gene Ann's Yarns.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ogre Boy

Ogre Boy
Originally uploaded by daniknits
Pattern: Ogre My Ogre - available as a free download on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes - doubled. I don't know what color.

Size 10 Needles.

Mods: none, except for yarn and needle size to make a smaller hat.! It's bound for a hat contest at my lys. I don't think it'll win, but it'll be really cute in the window.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

11 to go!

Maggie's Winter Cardi

Pattern: Shrug This

Yarn: Brooks Farm Solana

Needles: US size 8

Mods: Button hole at the neck for the button I still need to buy. Slightly longer body and long sleeves. I put the sleeves on waste yarn at the point the pattern told me to bind off the sleeves. I cast on 8 stitches under each arm and continued until I was happy with the body length. Then I put the sleeves on dpns and picked up the eight stitches under the arm. I knit in the round to my desired length. I didn't add any shaping to the sleeves. It didn't seem to need it. I still love the pattern, though I'm thinking of it more as a recipe at this point. Brooks Farm Solana is one of my very favorite yarns and it's superwash, making it great for the kids.

I'm off to knit on my comfort shawl next, but what I really want to do... See that orange yarn on the shelves behind Maggie? It's for my Susie Hoodie (Ravelry link). I really really want to cast on for that today. It's raining and chilly here. I'm going to try to resist, but I make no promises.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

3 Down - 12 to go!

It was good weekend for knitting. Not many plans, crappy allergies, and a bunch of shows to catch up on on the DVR. I frogged the French Market Bag. It felt good.

I Finished the Super Secret Knitting and sent it off. Here's a tiny sneak peak.

I also finished the Bat Hat. Cute, easy pattern. The only mods I made were to knit it on smaller needles and a little less deep to fit a smaller head. I also didn't double the ears to make them thicker. That is purely because I was running out of yarn. I think it's fine. I kind of like how the ears curl a little. Here's Matty (with a bigger head) standing in for his cousin to model it.

I've got one sleeve done on Maggie's Winter Cardi and hope to be to show you a finished object tomorrow.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Remember me?

I've been meaning to come here and show some of my fo's, but the craziness of life and keeping up with my main blog has kept me away. My needles have been very busy though!

I've finished two sweaters recently - one for Delphine and one for me.

I made the Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest for Delphine. I used Dream in Color Classy, and I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest

Cowgirl Butterfly Astronaut Vest

I tried my hand at making something for myself again - Liesl. I always love Ysolda's patterns, and this one called to me so I cast it on right away. It knit up pretty quickly, and it actually fit me!

Finished Liesl

Finished Liesl

I've knit a few socks - the pair I recently finished I can't show you because I was a test knitter for someone. Hopefully I'll be able to show them soon. I really love the way they turned out!

Like Dani, I've got tons of projects to finish up - one single sock, a doll, and a simple pair of socks for myself. I'm in the middle of participating in an afghan square swap and have been knitting 2 squares a month. I've got 7 more squares to knit and then one for myself to complete the afghan.

I cast on the Laughing Carrots sweater for Dominic yesterday and I owe him a pair of socks too. I've been in complete denial that I should already be planning my holiday knitting - but I plan on trying to map some of that out this weekend and next weekend.

So there is my little update :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Things might be getting a little out of hand

I've been feeling a bit weighed down by the knitting lately. I have all these projects running through my head. Projects that I will never be able to knit all of in 2 lifetimes. I'm pretty used to that, but still, I've been feeling like I'm not making much headway. I decided to take an accounting of everything on the needles and see what was what.

Big, big mistake. I'm really, honestly not sure how I got to this place, but I have, um, 15 WIP as of right now. I started out feeling vaguely out of sorts, only to now be fully freaked out. I must get this under control. I am going to Rhinebeck in October for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and I want to be in a better place by then. I can't go into prime knitting season (not to mention holiday knitting season) with so many projects dragging me down.

I'm going to come clean with it all here and then I'm counting on you all to keep me accountable. If I stay on track I may be able to start (mostly) fresh by Rhinebeck. So here goes.

Warning - lots of pictures ahead!

First up is some secret knitting I can't show you. In October though, you'll see it in KnitCircus along with Moose's Argyle Vest in more sizes! I have to have everything turned in by Monday and I am on track for that. There is no other knitting until this is done.

Next I have to finish up a bat hat for my 4 year old niece. I'm using the Kittyville Hat and replacing the pom-poms at the end of the I-cord with some little crocheted bats. She plans to wear the hat on Halloween as part of her costume. Most 4 year old girls want to be princess, but Olivia want to be a bat. The kid is hysterical.

I've also got another Shrug This (this is the third) on the needles. A long sleeve version made with Brooks Farm Solana. Delicious stuff. This is for Maggie because, well, because I got it on sale at Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair for $20. It's a sleeve and quarter away from being done.

A little pair of camo socks for Matty. I just cast these on this past weekend while I was working the Gene Ann's Yarns booth at Stitches Midwest. I needed something small that I could do with no pattern.

The Comfort Shawl to keep me warm while knitting on the couch this winter. I cast this on Saturday night after I purchased it because I, apparently, have no self control.

After that, I'll still have Breeze (needs 2 sleeves, seaming and neckline),

the Zetor Scarf (about 1/2 way done, I think),

Austin socks ( needs a mate),

Paraphernalia socks - Ravelry link (needs a mate),

Candle Flame scarf (about a third done),

Gathered Pullover (needs sleeves),

Log Cabin blankie (about half done-I hope),

Maggie's Wool Cardi (a third done),

a tank top of my own design (about half done),

and a French Market Bag.

This one is taken care of - or will be momentarily. I'm frogging it. I love the pattern, but don't really love felting, so this will probably never get finished. I'm just going to reclaim the yarn and call it done.

Look! I'm down to only 14!