Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Festive Jack-o-lanterns
What are your plans for the weekend?  My boys will be designing and carving their own pumpkins with their dad.  We'll even watch a few scary movies.  Then this evening, we'll visit the neighbours to collect treats.

I've also been busy on various WIPs: my pinwheel blanket is more dinner plate than coaster; the crochet continues for the Bernat CAL (the squares are getting progressively more difficult); made very little progress on hubby's slippers; however, did finish my skull hat for Bernat blog (plan to make more of those with a few modifications).

More important, last week's stash flash inspired me to photograph and catalogue the rest of my stash.  Most of my yarn is attached to specific projects (unless the yarn was gifted or is leftover from another project).  If you're already on Ravelry, you may notice that my previously blank stash page is now full of yarn entries.  So much yarn.  So little time.

More Halloween Fun

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ummm, Is That Stash?

Yes, I'm growing a lovely stash.  Thanks for asking.  Check out all the nice sock yarn.  I can hardly wait to cast one on . . . hmmm, perhaps after Christmas?

Paton's Kroy and Kroy FX

I've been dying to use the pretty self-striping stuff both for myself and my son.  Sadly we are the only two who enjoy handmade socks.  I even picked up Paton's Next Step series on socks (mainly for the good visuals along with worsted and bulky sock patterns).  Socks are definitely in my future.

I also got my hands on some nice lace weight to experiment with lacy scarves.  Last year`s adventure in lace scarves proved successful and enjoyable.  Hopefully I can get  two scarves, maybe one triangular and the other rectangular.

Paton's Lace

And not to be selfish, my final acquisition is destined for others.  My goal: use Bernat's Roving to make three hats for my niece and nephews.  Since the yarn is bulky, I hope to have them completed in time for Christmas--not an unrealistic goal.

Bernat Roving

My immediate challenge is organizing my newly acquired goods.  I was organized at one point (and proudly posted about my organization success ).  Sadly, I`ve gotten a little yarn happy since then and my yarn runneth over (thank heavens dear hubby tolerates my love of all things yarny as long its relegated to the sad, messy computer room).  Me thinks I need another tote. . .

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Not Another . . .

Project?!  Yeah, I started another project.  Is that wrong?  Oh, I wasn't supposed to do that? What's that? I already have too much on my plate?  I know; I know.

Beginnings of Pinwheel Blanket
But I couldn't resist because:
a) the project is for charity
b) I'm using yarn that's already in my stash for a pattern that's quite easy on the brain (it's a pinwheel blanket designed by Genia Planck.  Check out Ravelry for umpteenth versions and variations)
b) its part of a KAL 

I'm already part of Bernat's CAL, so why start a KAL?  Well, happy to say its a KAL with my new knitting group.  You heard right!  I found a newly started knitting club--or rather one of its members found me--on Ravelry--and invited me to join (thank you Allison!).  My first meeting was fun; it's great to spend time with similarly craft-minded individuals.  Hurray for knitting groups!! :D

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Love Is . . .

Fraying, Splitty, Snagable Frustration
. . . working with hideous yarn (aka indestructible petroleum by-product) to create a beloved knitted item.  Recognize the above product?  Good old Phentex Craft and Slipper Yarn.  Ever work with this stuff?  If you have, then you totally comprehend my frustration with it. 

Now don't misunderstand:  I lurve acrylics (hey, my name should be a give-away), mainly for their affordability, availability and easy care.  But not all acrylics are created equal.  Sure there are some lovely acrylics out there.  This Phentex stuff just isn't it.  But it is durable.  

Guess what it is?

Now care to guess what I'm making?  I'll give you three clues: something to keep the chill away in the dead of winter; something your great aunt or nana might have made; something a man might request.  Figure it out?

Dear hubby seldom asks for knitted goods: he dislikes woolen socks, seldom wears hats and prefers his water-proof gloves to the hand-knit variety.  However, he loves those Phentex slippers his mom used to make for him as a kid.  And up until recently, his mom still made those slippers.  Now its my turn to make them.  
Right Side with Alternating Colours

Stranding on Wrong Side

I have made these before for my oldest boy back in 2009, but for some reason I didn't understand how to twist the two colours to avoid holes.  I've worked fair isle and even intarsia--all successfully I might add.  But these slippers seem to combine the two and my poor brain doesn't "get it".  So I changed up the pattern by alternating colours every two rows.  I avoid holes and still create the stranding effect on the back.  It's all good. ;)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

Scarecrow courtesy of
Here in the Great White North, it's a long weekend in celebration of Thanksgiving.  At the in-laws, we'll feast on the traditional turkey complete with stuffing, gravy and all the fixings.  And while we sit 'round the table, we'll reminisce and count our blessings.
Pumpkins courtesy of

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was never a big deal in my immediate family (being from rural southern Italy, its not a holiday my parents celebrated).  Instead of turkey, we'd have antipasto, lasagna, followed by veal, veggies and all the fixings of a grand Italian feast (think six-course meal).  Not exactly a traditional Thanksgiving.
Apples courtesy of
As I get older, it is not the type of foods we eat that matter.  Rather, it is the time spent with family that matters.  And more important, the recognition that there is value in being thankful and appreciating all that we have--'cuz sometimes it feels as if we don't have much when, in fact, we have more than we think we do.
Corn courtesy of

Corny?  Maybe.  Perhaps just a wee bit nostalgic?  Maybe.  My parents, brother, sisters and their children live halfway across the country.  I haven't seen them in a few years.  Sure we talk on the phone and catch up on Facebook, but its not the same as being together in-person.  I miss them.  And its usually 'round the holidays when I realize how much I  do miss them.

Hope you get to spend this weekend with your family and loved ones.  Have a good Thanksgiving. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

We Have . . .

Button bands!! Oh yeah, I rock! 
Finished Button Bands
At long last, my lovely Blue Sprout has button bands.  Okay, it took a lot longer than I had hoped (at least a month and a half longer since I had initially hoped to be finished at the end of August).  There are a few ends to weave in and buttons to attach (actually I need to find buttons and I'm leaning towards red ones), but all the knitting is finally done.  Yay!!

I really liked this pattern and would definitely make it again (click on my Ravelry project links on sidebar to find more info on pattern).  For now, my attention turns to finishing a pair of mittens for the Bernat blog and working on a CAL afghan (also at Bernat).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Yet?

Photo from Wallpaper Torrent
Is it Fall yet where you live?  We've had a few cool days, but also some warm days--those OMG-I-think-summer-has-come-back days.  A few maple trees have begun to change, but suddenly this weekend many trees have turned. 

Time to start planning my winter knits: slippers, hats and mittens and more socks.  I'm not sure I'm going to be making my gifts this Christmas.  I've had so much on my plate . . . just wanna knit/crochet pressure-free and sans deadlines (although I reserve the right to whip up something quick and easy for my nephews and niece).

What are your winter crafting plans?

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Every now and then, I pop into the local used book store 'cuz ya just never know what you're gonna find.  There's always someting crafty.  Last fall I found a few a few Patons booklets , some old and some new. 

This time, I found some hardcover knit books, but they were from the 80s.  What a waste!  The sweaters were so boxy and over-sized.  I wouldn't have taken them even if they were free.  The designs from the 80s have not aged well.

However, patterns from the 60s and 70s seem to have fared better, at least in terms of design (if you ignore the colour choices and the styling).  Check out my first find circa early 70s (an oversized book from Patons):
Plus-Size Pattern Book
This particular book re-prints popular patterns from L to XXL (approx 42-52")--just my ticket!!  Don't you just love the short-sleeved round-neck sweater on the cover?  Love the lace pattern paired with form-fitting ribbing--very hip and modern, n'est pas?
Crochet Vests
And I'm intrigued by the lace vest which happens to be crocheted (I'm sooo ready to tackle a clothing item in crochet).
More Vests
And what about these knitted vests?  Change the colours to something more current and add them over a simple white shirt and blue jeans--very wearable (minus the faux pearls of course).

My other find is also from the 70s.  And it also includes crocheted garments along with knitted ones.  Have you seen this booklet around?
Patons Family Favorites
Okay, I can't see myself knitting a vest using 2.75 or 3mm needles, but it is a basic design that could be worn today.  There are other wearable items.

Turtleneck Sweaters

I think these turtleneck sweaters are cute and it would be very easy to modify a design element that isn't to my liking (such as the garter detail around the sleeve's cuff).

Little Jacket

And how about the cute little jacket above?  Not sure if I'm keen on the striping, but the actual shape of the garment is cute (although perhaps not so cute on the male model).

The vest and sweaters pictured below are interesting in that they are crocheted.  Initially I thought they were knit.  Don't they look knitted?  If nothing else, they are an interesting design.
Is it crochet or  knit?
Anyone else keen on not-so-vintage patterns?  Although the 70s are about 40 years old, so I guess they could be vintage--just like me!
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