Work in Progess: Newborn Vertebrae

It can be very difficult for me to knit baby items.  I turn to knitting as stress relief, but whenever I knit baby items, I am reminded of the babies I have lost and the ones I hope to have some day. . .sometimes it’s just too unbearable.  That being said, I also knit because I enjoy creating things for others.  So, I use that as inspiration to keep on knitting, to keep on going.

My hair stylist and his wife are expecting.  Their February 3rd due date is fast approaching, so I’ve put everything else on hold and I’m working on Kelly Brooker’s Newborn Vertebrae.  It’s an adorable little cardigan that knits up quite quickly.  I’m using Patons Beehive Baby Sport in Elephant for this project.

Newborn Vertebrae

Pictured is the WIP shown from the back.  If time allows, I’ll whip up a little Newborn Hat to go with the cardigan.

Pleasant knitting!

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Mittens for Me!

We’re still snowed in and I’m not complaining!  I’ve been knitting, reading, and watching the new season of Doc Martin.

I couldn’t resist. . .I made a pair of mittens for myself using the leftover yarn (I Love This Yarn! 792/Hot Stripes) from the mittens and hat I made for my nephew and niece.  I turned to my favorite mitten pattern–The World’s Easiest Mittens by Tanis Gray–and modified it to include a 5-inch cuff.

My Mittens

With all the mittens I’ve made lately, I’ve almost memorized how to make them. I’d like to make another pair or maybe a pair of Kumara Arm Warmers by Laura Zukaite in Navy to match the new coat I got for Christmas.  I have a skein of worsted Patons Classic Wool in Navy that has been waiting to hop on some needles.  We’ll see if the snow lasts long enough for me to get another project done.

Pleasant knitting!

A Snow Day Hat

We’ve had another snow day today.  It’s been gorgeous.  This winter storm started with ice, but turned to snow and hasn’t stopped.  There’s at least 8 inches of snow on the ground.  My sweetheart has taken some beautiful photographs.

We keep our bird feeders and feeding stations stocked during the cold weather, and it’s always a joy to observe the wildlife.  What a blessing!

Of course, I’ve been knitting.  I started and finished a hat for my niece–Purl Soho’s Super Soft Merino Hat for Everyone:

Itty Bitty Hat

I used the same yarn as I used for my nephew’s mittensI Love This Yarn! in 792/Hot Stripe. I love it as much as I love the mittens.  The colors are just so cheerful!  I really want to make something for myself with this yarn.  I probably have enough left to make a pair of mittens and a hat.  We’ll see.

The snow keeps on falling, so I’m going to keep on knitting.  Valentine’s Day is getting closer. . .I need to knit something for my sweetheart, but what?  Any ideas?

Pleasant knitting!

Itty Mittens!

I mentioned before that my five-year-old nephew requested a pair of mittens knit in every color of the rainbow and black and white.  I knew I’d never find that kind of colorway, and, though I love my nephew dearly, I wasn’t about to knit with nine different yarns and weave in a bunch of ends. So, I opted for I Love This Yarn! in 792/Hot Stripe.  I’m really not one to knit with acrylic, but I was just drawn to bright colors and the idea of a self-striping yarn. I purchased the yarn before I decided on a pattern.

Since we had a snow day yesterday, I was determined to spend some time selecting a pattern and getting started.  I found a great basic mitten pattern from Red Heart.  It’s called “Mittens for All,” and it includes sizing for children through adults.  I hadn’t planned to finish the mittens yesterday, but I did!  And I think they are adorable, perhaps because they are so itty bitty!

Itty Mittens

I took the mittens to school today to share with a coworker (it’s so nice to have coworkers who knit–we love swapping stories, patterns, WIPS, and finished projects).  One of my students saw the mittens and requested a pair in blue and red.  I’ve never knit for any of my students, but how do you turn down a kiddo asking for mittens?!

Now that my nephew’s mittens are finished, I plan to use the same yarn to make a teeny hat for my niece.  Purl Soho’s Super Soft Merino Hat for Everyone looks like an excellent pattern.  It’s late in the evening, but we have another snow day tomorrow, so I think I’ll get started right now.

Pleasant knitting!

Snow Day Knitting!

We don’t get much snow around here and it seemed that we might go the whole of winter without it this year, as the temperatures have been unusually high. But, it snowed last night and all the area schools are closed.

While all the neighbors have been out making some awesome snowmen, I’ve been cozily knitting away.  That’s what snow days are for!

I finished up my Drop Stitch Yarn Palette Scarf from Purl’s Yarn Emporium.

Though I hadn’t worked on it much lately, it really was a simple and quick knit.  I love the blues and grays of the fiber (sorry–my photography skills don’t give the lovely colors justice).  This is a perfect project for using up scrap yarn.  Next time, I’ll probably add 20 or 30 stitches, and I’ll use a set of wooden needles instead of acrylic.  The acrylics were just too slippery and I ended up dropping a few stitches when I shouldn’t have.  Thankfully, I was able to pick them back up without any trouble.  That being said, the pattern is quite forgiving.  With all the changes in yarn and the dropped stitches, it would be difficult to notice errors.

I was also able to complete a hat for my dear brother.  I call it my Basketweave Toboggan.

Basketweave Toboggan

I created the pattern for this a few years ago by researching several hat patterns and using the classic basketweave pattern (a few rows of knit stitches followed by purl stitches and then a few rows of purl stitches followed by knit stitches).  It’s hard to tell from the photograph, but this particular hat is knit in Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice in Navy. This brand of yarn is durable and warm, so I always use it for this hat.  As my nephew recently said of the one I knit for him for Christmas, “It’s bizarre how warm this hat is.”  I never block these hats, because they shape up nicely as soon as they are worn.  My brother requested this hat and I need to get it to him ASAP, as we’re expecting another blast of cold and snow in a couple of days.  Maybe we’ll have another snow day. . .if we do, you know what I’ll be up to!

Pleasant knitting!

How I Began Knitting

Sadly, I don’t remember the moment when I first thought, “I’d like to learn how to knit.”  In fact, it’s hard for me to remember exactly when I started knitting.  I do know that it was one Christmas in the first years of my marriage, and here’s how I know:

Klutz Knitting

Knitting by Anne Johnson is the book that got me started knitting.  It was part of a kit by Klutz that included a skein of yarn, size 8 needles, a small crochet hook, a finishing needle, and two buttons.  My dad and stepmother gave it to me for Christmas one year and my husband talked about his grandmother’s knitting when I unwrapped the kit.  I read the book cover to cover and immediately began knitting.  The illustrations and directions in this book are fantastic for learning to knit.  It’s written for children, but I recommend it to children and adults who want to learn to knit.

The first project I ever knit was a little pocket purse that I used to hold my knitting notions.  Then, I made the hat seen on the cover of the book and a sunglasses case.  I took the book and my knitting with me everywhere that Christmas break–including my husband’s grandmother’s house for their Christmas get-together.  While everyone was eating, opening presents, and chatting, Ma taught me to knit dishcloths with the famous Lily Sugar’n Cream Cotton Yarn. From then on, whenever I had a knitting question, I turned to Ma.  She’s no longer with us, but I often think of her when I knit.  And I will be forever grateful for what she taught me.

I may not remember what made me want to learn to knit or exactly when I began knitting, but I’m so glad I learned.  It’s hard to imagine my life now without it.

Pleasant knitting!

Book Review: Knitting Pearls edited by Ann Hood

For my birthday, my Mom gave me a copy of Knitting Pearls edited by Ann Hood.  When it comes to hobbies, only two things compete with my love of knitting–reading and gardening.  So, when I find a great book with a knitting theme, I’m all in.

Knitting Pearls

I read it over Christmas break while recuperating from surgery.  I have to say, this book made it into my hands at the perfect time.

Knitting Pearls is a follow up to Hood’s Knitting Yarns, and, in it, writers tell about their experiences with the healing power of knitting.  Some writers share why they began knitting, others tell of the knitting others have done for them, and some tell the tale of a particular knitted item.  In all, there are 27 short stories and 6 patterns for readers to enjoy.

I particularly related to Robin Romm’s story, “Creation Myth.”  In it, she tells of knitting for her pregnant friends and then knitting baby items for the baby she and her husband long for.  I have knit through two miscarriages and, most recently, while recuperating from surgery to remove cysts and endometriosis–all while praying that one day I’ll get to wrap my own baby in the items that I knit.  Like Robin, I have knit blankets, sweaters, and booties only to pack them away in the hopes of using them some day.  Some people might say I’m crazy, but knitting these items keeps me in hope and out of despair.

If you have ever experienced the healing power of knitting, you’ll enjoy Knitting Pearls.

Pleasant knitting!