Sunday, January 25, 2009

Block Blankie

The weekend has gone by quickly, as most do! Sister Cathy was kind enough to help me run some errands yesterday, as I'm still sporting the Herman Munster boot. No driving yet. We are all trying to get ready for the big event in February. Only two more weeks until wedding time for Dow and Melissa. I need to add a few items to the baby gift collection, so I tried Block Blankie by Corrina Ferguson. I used the Muench Big Baby on size 13 needles. Colorway 5503 which is bluish-green/yellow. The yarn is really thick and soft. This pattern works up very quickly -and is a great size for a baby carrier or stroller blanket. I've also started on the Christmas stocking and slowly trying to learn the technique of intarsia. I think I'm getting the hang of it, but it's difficult to ignore the chaos of the different colors hanging at the back of the work. I'll try to post a picture tomorrow. I've also been intrigued reading all the news about the Bohus Exhibit currently at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An interesting history of this knitting style can be found on this blog. Here's a small sample of bohus collars. I would love to take a class on this technique.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I'm coming to the end of my "time-out" from this broken leg. If all goes well, I will return to work for half-days beginning tomorrow. I am so very grateful for all the care and concern of so many friends and family members for helping this time go by so smoothly and so quickly.
You have all kept me well-fed and well-entertained. The meals have been delicious, the cards and phone calls have boosted my spirits. I have enjoyed lots of knitting, time on the internet and ravelry, and quite a few good bridge games. My nieces, Meccay, MaryGrace, and Joannie visited yesterday and brought me this colorful "get well banner". You make me feel very special.
Remember these hand-knit stockings from a previous post? My Aunt Cathy Hightower was kind enough to bring the "archives" of her stocking-making handiwork for me to look through and begin Christmas Stocking 101. I'm not sure I'm ready for this task, but I have a huge desire to learn. Hopefully, that will make me successful.
I have learned that she "wrote" this pattern after studying the Christmas stocking of a friend. (I can usually follow instructions, but I've not advanced to being able to construct the pattern and graphs required to do this.) Needless to say, I'm in great admiration of her ability. These stockings are a family heirloom and we have tremendous gratitude for her labor of love.
Here are some pictures of the patterns that I will try to follow.
Well, we're all tiring of seeing the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I have about 150 more stitches to bind off. As you can see it is still "puffy" and I can't wait to get it blocked. . . though I know it will be a huge task.
Wish me luck getting back to work tomorrow!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Hemlock Update

It's not done yet, but I had to share how beautiful this bind-off is on the Hemlock Ring Blanket.
Pretty time-consuming, but the perfect ending to this amazing pattern.
It's pretty cold here for a few days, high 20's last night!! Time to sit by the fire (with my foot up!) and stay warm with all this wool in my lap as I finish....not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Well, one never knows what's in store from one day 'til the next. Little did I know last Wednesday morning that within the week I would be sporting footwear reminiscent of Herman Munster's weighty boots. (Remember the TV show?) Thankfully, the boot is only on the right foot due to a graceful fall last Wednesday. My right fibula is broken and will take about 4-6 weeks to heal. In the meantime, I am temporarily confined to the couch. I plan to get back to work next week for some short days. I am frustrated to have this unexpected "vacation" but it has been really been comforting to have so many wonderful friends and family members come to my aid. Many thanks to you all for helping me get through this little challenge. The extra "down time" has given me a little chance to enjoy some knitting. The infamous Hemlock Ring Blanket is within 3 rows of being finished. I'm anxious to work on some other projects and , as always, can't wait to cast on something new during this healing process. I will get some pictures posted soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January Knitting

January is great for warming up by the fire and knitting while it's cold and dreary outside. One of my New Year's goals is to learn to knit in the "continental" style, which for some is much faster than the "English" method. The continental style consists of holding the working yarn in one's left hand and allowing it to be "picked up" by the right hand needle. I have heard that continental stitchers are called "pickers". I learned and have always knit using the English method where the working yarn is held in the right hand and "thrown" or looped around the right hand needle. More time-consuming because of all the hand/arm movement. Well, I decided a few nights ago while doing a "row" on the Hemlock Ring Blanket (circular round of about 500 stitches - near the end), that this was the perfect time to make myself learn this technique. Repetition of 500 stitches in one round should either spell success or failure! Well, with the help of You tube videos and LOTS of practice, I think I have it! I'm not ready for the speed knitting competition yet, but I can do it at least as fast as I was in the English method. This is very exciting to me, in hopes that I can make more projects in 2009 than in 2008. Click here to watch the video on the speed knitter!" The Hemlock Ring Blanket is within 15 rounds of being completed! It is a growing GIGANTIC mushroom! My first goal for the month is to finish this project. Then at some point I want to get back into the Koigu Jacket that has been sitting for quite awhile. The colors in it are really beautiful and I just need to pick it back up! What you see here is the right front of the jacket. I am modifying it to make it smaller than the one pictured in the link.

I have some other projects planned when time allows: I'd like to make another 3-button wrap in a heavier yarn like Twinkle Chunky.

I'd like to make another Baby Surprise Jacket in white or ecru.

I'd like to make the Block Blankie (scroll down the page) by Corrina Ferguson in Muensch Big Baby Multi.

Sometime soon I also need to get started on a bedskirt for my blue guest bedroom. Fabric is in hand. I just need a long weekend to take the plunge.

Philip picked this beautiful camellia this morning, High Fragrance. It has a very sweet fragrance - reminds me of a lily. Enjoy!!