Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fleece Navidad

I hope that all of my readers had a wonderful holiday. I know that mine was very nice considering my vacation time was quite short. We where able to spend time with both of our families without running around like fools with over stuffed bellies trying to have just one more bite as to no insult dear auntie who spent so much time on those cookies. Our visits where relaxed, and very enjoyable. It was a nice change.

I began knitting something new... with something old. Some stash yarn that I had left over from the O'Donnell Aran throw. It is a hat. Perhaps an ugly hat. Hopefully ugly in that retro-Anthropologie kind of way. I will keep knitting, wondering how I will decrease when the time comes, and if I will even like the hat in the end. What do you think?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Marseilles Pullover

I was knitting this sweater while knitting the log cabin blanket. I am not sure why I took on two large project at the same time. It was like running a marrathon, only to have another marrathon to fall back on. I went a long time without having that satisfaction of finishing something. However the payoff was a good one. Here are the details:

What: Marseilles Pullover, Interweave Knits Summer 06, size small

Yarn: Knit Picks, Swish Superwash in Light Coral

Needles: Size 7 and Size 8 bamboo

For: Myself :o)

Modifications: Added three inches to each sleeve length and an extra twist on the waist band (about 4 rows).

This is the first time I used the swish superwash, and to my surprise it is not only washable, but also quite soft. After all the work I put into the sweater I was happy it came out so well!

Log Cabin Blanket

Grandparents always seem the hardest to shop for. They have everything they might need. I hate to clutter their house with more knickknacks for them to dust. A hand knit seemed like a perfect solution, and a blanket could be for them both. I kept the size small, it is more of a lap blanket than a full blown afghan. It had to be machine washable too!

What: Log cabin blanket, inspired by Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted Weight
Needles: Knit Picks Options size 9
For: My Grand parents as a Christmas present
Size: 36 inches Square

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A slacker already?

I feel like I have given up on my small group of loyal readers already! But never fear- I am back! No pictures just yet, but I do have some FOs to post about so pictures and details will come soon. My dear K and I have been on a weeks vacation, and I vacationed from the computer, work, and anything I didn't want to do. We kept busy at home and avoided cooking dinner most nights too. Here where the other highlights of the week...

We visited the Carnegie Museum of Art specifically to see the Louis Comfort Tiffany exhibit. There was a smaller exhibit going on at the same time of Tiffany desk sets that one of my friends had put together, and we also made a point to see it while we where there! In my opinion she did a great job putting it all together!

I spent much of Thursday baking cookies with my mother. It was a duel purpose bake-off. The obvious reason is that Christmas is two weeks away, the other reason was that my good friend is expecting her first child and we threw a shower for her. Christmas cookies easily turn into baby shower cookies with a quick jimmy color change. A bunch of friends all chipped in and it turned into a great day!

In knitterly news, I finished my sweater and the blanket I am working on will be done very soon!! I promise pictures soon! Now I just need to figure out what is next on the knitting list...

One last highlight is that I got older. At the shower my friends surprised me with a special dessert, and a wonderful rendition of happy birthday with a piano accompaniment! I was blushing, but it is certainly nice to have such a great bunch of friends!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Extreme Makeover, Bathroom Edition

That is right... the hole-in-the-wall bar bathroom which occupied our home for the past three years has finally met its end. My mother in law was the first to point out its obvious lack of style, it was quite odd. A chair rail painted red ran around tiny room and ended just as it ran into the terrible fake wood vanity, topped with a lovely Formica top which housed a beige sink. Well, I have never been good with words-

Lovely right? Are you shocked we threw that beastly cabinet out? I cheered when the garbage men hauled it away and gazed hopefully in to our bare room. So full of possibilities! So in just a little over one week, my loving man with some help transformed this ugly room into a beautiful addition to our first floor! Feast your eyes on this!

Not 100% done, yet usable. I love it, and love my K for putting the work into it.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Here We Go Steelers, Here we Mo!!

I feel like I am playing catch up still with my blogging. This post will not be an exception to that. This past April we adopted our second Boston Terrier, Cosmo. Who we fondly call Mo- or anything that starts with Mo... We rescued him from the Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue, and even through we where from out of state they considered us as potential adopters! They where so nice to work with too.

Anywho, on to the story already... the foster family insisted that Cosmo was a Browns fan (yack) and Ohio State fan. I promised that he could remain a fan of Ohio State... but under no circumstances could we have a Browns fan in the family. The whole way home we brainwashed Cosmo into being a Steelers fan, one round of "Here we go" and he was switching teams. As football season aproached Mo became more and more interested in the team, so I thought it was appropiate to knit him a sweater. I was unable to find anything online that was even close to what I was looking for, so I embarked on an experimental knitting project. The Doggie Steelers Sweater. The yarn was Knit Picks Merino Style and I used the following colors - Maple Leaf, Dusk, Fog, Vanilla, Coal, and Crocus. One skein of each except I used up two skeins of the Coal. The back was knit first, with an intarsia logo. It was by far the most enjoyable part for me.

I put it on hold for a while after finishing the back. The tummy and sleeves didn't excite me right away. Once I regained my stamina (weeks before the start of the season begining) I got my butt in gear and knit up the rest of the sweater. Lets just say my studly little man attracts all the hot ladies in his gear, and all the boys are jealous!

Isn't he studly?

All New Designer Dog!

So, it has become rather trendy to mix to ordinary breeds of dogs into some kind of mega special mutt. So I have come to the conclusion that I needed in on the action. I have dogs... I can make babies, so why not combine the two into a new hobby? I give you the Boston Wiener... I am still working on the perfect name.

I know... you have never seen anything like it. I bet you want one of your own. For a measly $10,000 it can be yours. None other like it in the world, I promise. Who wouldn't want a dog with the back problems of a dachshund and the energy of a Boston terrier? Plus, look how darn cute it is! That is a good enough reason on its own to add this unique beast to your family!! All sales are fina........Cosmo! Get back under the blanket, you are ruining my sales pitch

Monday, November 20, 2006

It is contagious!!

So this past weekend was very a knitterly one! Saturday I had some knitter wannabes come over for some basic lessons. There where three of them... being my fifth, sixth, and seventh victims. One came with some prior knowledge, and was doing quite well on her own. I only showed her how to change colors and weave in her ends. The second picked up the long tail cast-on and knitting rather quickly! I was impressed. It was a bit tight, but overall great for a first time knitter. The third was slower to develop her technique, but after some patience on her part (and heckling on mine) she got the hang of it!! I was rewarded with some wonderful pumpkin roll from one of my victims... Thanks K!

Sunday I was able to finish the third log cabin square for my grandparents christmas present! One more to go, and the boarder.... pictures to come in a later post, I promise!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Attack of the Mason Dixon Knitting!

I like many others have become smitten with the book and blog Mason Dixon Knitting. Much of my summer knitting was devoted to patterns from this book. They where so simple, yet so inspiring to me. I have a hard time explaining my attraction to the book.

I started with ever popular ball band dishcloths. I knit four in total, with Peaches and Cream Yarn. They are simple and fun to mix up the colors as you go! One was gifted to Mum when she said that she liked them.

Then I saw the linen hand towels and instatnly thought of our friends in NY. Well the female friend of the two... she was turning 30 and I just knew some prissy hand towels would brighten her day! One is the moss grid pattern and the other is a diamond pattern!

I too needed some lovely Euroflax linen hand knit goods for myself so I knit the bubbly curtain for our front door. It looks so perfect in the hall, and I am always complemented on it by our guests!

I also knit a baby bib o'love and a baby genius burp cloth for a knitty friend who had her first son this year!!

The O'Donnell throw

So, this here is my favorite knit project I have ever made. Nearly a year ago, my family lost a beloved and dear friend of ours. His name was Richard. His spirit was uplifting and his smile was contagious. He was family... we lost him to esophagal cancer in November of 2006. I attended his 'retirement party' days before he passed clearly knowing it was his wake. The room was over filled with loving friends, family and co-workers who all had loved Richard. However at the funural I was unable to console his bride, his favorite knickname to his wife. I needed something to help me heal, and to give to this widdow to help her remember her husband and comfort her on those lonely nights. Richard was proud of his Irish heritage and it inspired me to knit him an Aran patterend throw. I could not find a pattern that would help me along so I ventured into my first ever self-designed project. After much planning and swatching I felt ready to cast on the first row. Overall it took me six weeks of constant knitting to finish this work of art... or love rather. I presented it to his wife when she was over my parents on St Patricks day. She instantly recgonized it as the O'Donnell Clan pattern and keeps the blanket in the living room on Richards chair. Best gift ever.

One small step for knitting, one giant leap for aj!

So, here I go... like so many before me. A knitting blog. I hope to use this to both cronicle my progress on my own knitting projects as well as a way to connect with other knitters! Here goes nothing!!