Friday, December 08, 2017

Winter Project

Good afternoon to everyone! I'm joining up with Jennifer at Thistlebear for her wonderful Winter Project link party. Please visit Jennifer's lovely blog to see what other's are creating.  

I've been working steadily on a lace scarf for a good friend of mine. Lace takes a long time to knit! If I was better at time management, I'm sure the scarf would already have been delivere.! But that's just not me. There's been a lot happening here at my house, and Christmas preparations have not been one of them. I still have not got the tree up, but hopefully this weekend. I threw a garland up around the front door, added lights, and that's all. Oh, I did decorate a tiny tree that I used to take to my dear old Dad (sniff), but this year it is gracing the playroom, and my favourite little daycare boy helped me decorate it. He liked it so much that he asks if we can decorate it again every day he's here ;) 

Right, the lace scarf ... I'm knitting this in fingering weight, hand-dyed yarn, in a very dark navy blue with touches of teal throughout. It's really, really nice stuff. Very soft and has a nice slippery feel for knitting. The pattern is a fir tree design, which I think is perfect for my friend who lives near the tall timber forests in the far West. I'm more than halfway done, and have calculated how many repeats I have to knit each day in order for it to be completed in four days. So far I'm on track! A bit tricky to photograph, but here it is.
the first half

I actually did complete the last lace scarf I was knitting and have delivered it to my friend.

Thanks for stopping by today, and I hope you are having wonderful times with family and friends in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas Day!
sunshine in the playroom earlier this week :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Catching Up With You Before Christmas Catches Up With Me!

Hi Folks! It's been a while since I popped in here and posted anything. I have an excuse. I have joined Instagram. Please don't hate me, and I haven't deserted my blog, I just have been busy knitting and getting a teeny bit ready for Christmas that I found the quickness of Instagram has really been a blessing. I can knit and keep in touch with everyone just by my phone. I've never really been a "phone person", so this is all a new kind of madness for me.  If you click on the Instagram box on the sidebar here, it will take you right to my IG page. I've found some of my blogging friends on IG, but would love to be able to connect with anyone who is a regular viewer here as well. No pressure, because it took me a long time to finally join. I joined the dreaded facebook too, but I honestly don't like it much and find it difficult to navigate on my phone (although it seems fairly easy on my computer). I doubt I'll be on FB much because IG is so easy to use instead.

Enough of that dull stuff!!

What have I been knitting? Well, I finished the lace scarf I was making a few weeks ago, and have started a second lace scarf for a good friend. Not much to show on it yet as it is tiny work and the progress is slow.

The colours are truest in the final photo.

I also knit up two scarves for a charity here in awareness of Aids. I just happened to see a donation box at the library when I took the kids for storytime. The ad was asking for red scarves 6" x 60". Some of the scarves already dropped in the box were shocking red (a colour I kind of hate), so I went for a darker red, which once I got it home and started knitting it looked more and more like burgundy. Oh well, I knit them up and dropped them off last Friday. I hope they approve of the colour.


The daycare is keeping me busy with outings for the kids. We've been along the Waterfront Trail (a provincially maintained trail that follows the shores of Lake Ontario), and also to Lynde Marsh, playgroups and the library for fireside storytime. The weather has been so overcast in November, but we've been squeezing the nature visits in haphazardly. I always feel so much better for getting out though. 

These photos were taken yesterday at Lynde Marsh ...

lurking turkey ;)

And these were taken along the Waterfront Trail ...

I'm sure I'll start mistakenly overlapping some photos through the blog and Instagram, and maybe I've already shared these photos on my blog! I'm just spread a little thin these days, but wanted to keep in touch. I really want to visit everyone, but I don't want to promise that it's going to happen today or tomorrow. sigh ... busy time of year right? I even have trouble replying to comments on IG, so apologies if you've been neglected in that respect as well. I usually reply to everyone here on my blog (unless you're non-reply blogger), but things kind of unraveled a bit lately, and I know I've missed some of you. I do read every comment left for me, if that's any comfort ;)

I made three Christmas cakes this morning and they are still baking in the oven. I thought the batter looked a little runny, and I guess it was. I was following an old recipe of Mom's and it was a bit vague as to liquid measurements. I made this cake last year too, and I remember having the same trouble. Maybe next year I'll use a different recipe ... I must have a dozen or so!!  I took photos of the process on my phone (and shared them on Instagram), but I haven't uploaded them to my laptop yet. Maybe just seeing the final baked cakes will be enough? 

Well thanks for dropping in today ... sorry for the heavy load of photos (lack of organization on my part). Enjoy the rest of your week, and take care!


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Winter Project - Lace Scarf

I'm joining up with Jennifer of Thistlebear this morning in her Winter Project link party. Thanks for hosting Jennifer! I've enjoyed this link party last year as well, and it really gives me much needed motivation to get moving on some knitted projects.

This past weekend was a bit dark, wet and dreary, so I made a good start at a lace scarf I wanted to knit. I picked up the yarn at the CreativFestival in Toronto. Sadly the vendors who attend this show have drastically reduced in number. I hadn't been for quite a few years, and I was shocked, and hugely disappointed, at the lack of interest in the show. It used to be a show exclusively for sewing, but then they changed the theme to include more knitting and then scrapbooking. One vendor told me the cost to rent a booth is very high, and she thought that was the reason for the low attendance.

I wanted to knit a lace scarf. I'm using a pattern from an old book I have which is a library of knit stitches, and this is a particularly pretty zig zag vine pattern.

The yarn ....

You can see the pattern a bit better with the light behind it ....

Before I started the scarf, I tested a few stitch patterns from the book in one long strip.
I guess this could have been made into a scarf too!

This is the pattern I'm using (below) ....

I had wanted to make a different pattern (below), but the variegated yarn didn't allow the pattern to shine through :(  Plan B became the lace.

another close second ....

I hope to visit everyone who joined up in the party later this evening. I had an unexpected day off yesterday, and although I had planned to knit, knit, knit the day away, it ended up being a day of running errands. I didn't sit down to knit until 8:00 pm. Well, it's off to a good start now thank goodness!

Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, November 03, 2017

Two Small Knitting Patterns ... Acorns & Ghosts!

I promised I would share my pattern for the acorns I knit up at Thanksgiving. Although it's past Thanksgiving for Canadians, my American friends might find some use for them. I also worked out a pattern for a little finger puppet ghost I made for my daycare kids. Both these patterns are on my sidebar under Free Knitting Patterns. Let me know if you have any questions, and I'll be sure to reply. I posted about the acorn pattern on Instagram, but then realized I had made a mistake in the pattern. Apologies if you started knitting the pattern before I made the amendment (your acorn would have turned out quite tiny I think!). This is the amended version ... and I corrected it on the sidebar pattern page as well. Thanks for bearing with me.

Knitted Acorn (slightly amended!)

I really enjoyed knitting up these autumn oak leaves by Frankie Brown (below), but I wanted to make up my own acorn knit in the round, rather than flat and seamed together.

Here is the pattern I worked out for the acorn ...

Needles: set of 4 DPNs, I used 2.5 mm (US 2), but you can use any size that suits your yarn.

Yarn: Rust Colour: Lion Brand, Heartland, Medium, 100% acrylic, "135 Yosemite"
Dark Brown Colour: Lion Brand, Heartland, Medium 100% acrylic, "126 Sequoia"

Of course any scrap yarns you have in appropriate colours will do.

You can use a tiny bit of fibre fill or just scrap yarn to stuff the acorn.

DPN: double-pointed needles
k: knit
p: purl
kfb: knit into the front and into the back of one stitch
k2tog: knit two stitches together as one
p2tog: purl two stitches together as one

Join for knitting in the round: I just slip purlwise one stitch from left-hand needle to right-hand needle; then slip the now second stitch from the right-hand needle over the first stitch and onto the left-hand needle.

I-cord: knit all stitches on one DPN, slide those stitches to the right-hand end of the needle (rather than turning the needle around as you would normally do); knit all the stitches again (the working yarn will come from left to right at the back of your work); slide those stitches to the right-hand end of needle again; knit; continue in this manner until you have a cord knit of desired length.


- using the rust-coloured yarn, cast on 3 stitches onto one DPN

- kfb each stitch, distribute 2 stitches onto each of 3 DPNs (6)

- join for knitting in the round

Rnd 1 - *kfb, k1, repeat from * to end (9)

Rnd 2 - *kfb, k2, repeat from * to end (12)

Rnd 3 - *kfb, k3, repeat from * to end (15)

Rnd 4 - *kfb, k4, repeat from * to end (18)

Rnd 5-  k

Rnd 6 -  k

(see **Note at bottom of pattern)

- change to dark brown yarn (I tie the two yarns together in a knot and tuck the ends inside the acorn rather than weaving in ends)

Rnd 7 -  k

Rnd 8 - *p4, p2tog, repeat from * to end (15)

Rnd 9 - *p3, p2tog, repeat from * to end (12)

Rnd 10 - *p2, p2tog, repeat from * to end (9)

Rnd 11 - *p1, p2tog, repeat from * to end (6)

- stuff with fibre fill or scrap yarn ... make sure the yarn ends are tucked in at this point as well

Rnd 12 - *p2tog, repeat from * to end (3)

Rnd 13 - place all 3 sts onto one DPN

- p2tog, p1 (2)

- knit 2 rows of I-cord

- cut yarn, and thread it back down through the I-cord

**Note: I have knit many of these acorns trying to adjust them to look like a proper acorn, and decided this pattern worked out pretty well. If you want to make the acorn a bit longer, add another row of plain knitting after Round 6. If you want the acorn less plump, eliminate a round of increases in the lower part of the acorn, and then adjust the cap by purling one less stitch each round. If you have questions, leave a comment. 

Knitted Ghost Finger Puppet

Needles: set of 4 DPNs (I used size 2.5 mm or US 2)

Yarn: Scraps ... I used some acrylic from Christmas crafts ... white with a thread of silver twisted through it. No label on it, but not quite as thick as worsted and not as thin as sock (helpful, right?!)

Gauge: not necessary; use the needles that suit the yarn

Cast on 3 sts onto one DPN

Kfb of each st, using a separate DPN for each st you knit into. You will end up with 2 sts on each of three DPNs (6)

Join for knitting in the round

*Kfb, K1, repeat from * to end (9)

*Kfb, K2, repeat from * to end (12)

*Kfb, K3, repeat from * to end (15)

K 10 - 12 rounds, until the piece measures approx. 1.5 inches

Kfb of every st (30)

*Kfb, K1, Kfb, K3, Kfb, K3, repeat from * to end (39)

Bind off and weave in ends

Use a bit of scrap yarn or embroidery thread for the eyes

This ghost had 12 rounds of knitting in the body
This ghost had 10 rounds of knitting in the body, just a bit shorter/cuter?

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Along the Waterfront Trail

Couldn't stand to be indoors again today and headed down to the lake to walk along a portion of the Waterfront Trail which runs through my town. Didn't want to be loaded down with the camera, so just took my phone. I snapped photos until the battery died ... a brief 10 minutes after I started on the trail :(  Note to self: always charge the phone before going on an outing! It was a grey day today, but the colours on the trees were quite vibrant. There are still a lot of green trees here, but others have turned colour and dropped all their leaves. Seems kind of mixed up this year.

A nice stand of sumac ... missed the best of that colour as most of the leaves have already fallen.

The paved path that is the Waterfront Trail.

Loads of red berries on the smaller trees ...

I liked the bands of colours from the green grasses in the foreground, red twigs in the middle and then the yellows on the tippy tops of the trees in the background.

And from Google with regards to the woolly bear caterpiller:

Banded woolly bear
Pyrrharctia isabella occurs in the United States and southern Canada.Wikipedia
Scientific namePyrrharctia isabella
Did you knowIsabella tiger moth caterpillars overwinter, surviving freezing weather by producing their own antifreeze, with which their cells are infused.

Pyrrharctia isabella. Pyrrharctia isabella (Isabella tiger moth) can be found in many cold regions, including the Arctic. The banded woolly bear larva emerges from the egg in the fall and overwinters in its caterpillar form, when it freezes solid. ... Once it emerges from its pupa as a moth it has only days to find a mate.


Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillar

And my favourite photo of the day ...  

paper wasps' nest

Thanks for stopping by!


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