What’s new?

Wow. With all that’s been going on lately, January fairly flew by. Now it’s nearly Valentine’s Day. Five years ago on Feb. 14, my darling husband proposed to me. Hard to believe it was that long ago!

I’ve posted a few “new house” photos since we moved, so I’m sure you’re all rather sick of looking at the same landscape. But when I saw the sun making the distant hills rosy this morning, with twilight still in the foreground, I had to snap a few. Check it out here: Sunrise

Finally, lest you think I’ve been letting my knitting slide, here are a couple of photos. First, the “Frozen Feet” socks, made out of 100 percent alpaca. These suckers are going to be W.A.R.M.

Frozen Feet Socks

Next, a quick pair of “Fetching” gloves:


I designed a neck warmer to go with them, but haven’t taken photos of it yet. I’ll try to be good about writing it up, because it turned out to be quite cute!

Hey, did you notice the fab Fiesta Ware sugar and creamer set in the Fetching photo? LOVE the color!!! And the price…I found the set for $15 at an antique store in Cape May, NJ last fall. Fun ;-)

Well, back to work. Duty calls, and all that. Until later, happy knitting!

PS. I HATE how WordPress works with photos! But Blogger doesn’t let me post PDF files of my patterns for you…So. What’s a girl to do? Guess I have some research to do on blog options. If anyone has suggestions, I’m open to hearing them!


Keeping Warm with (less than) One Skein

I love warm weather, and can’t wait for spring to arrive! But if it’s going to be cold, snowy, and icy, I’d at least like to cash in on some of winter’s beauty…instead, this was about the extent of D.C.’s ice-covered, sparkling wonderland:(My focus is a bit off, but you get the idea…)

We also got 4 inches of snow/sleet/slush in the District (now frozen into a solid, dirty sheet of ice). And it’s been SO cold this week! Looking on the bright side, though, it’s great weather for making and wearing our woolies. I have a few FOs to show off…I’ll start with the most recent:

Last weekend, with a friend’s birthday just days away, I decided to use up a skein of the wonderful alpaca yarn I bought at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last year (Alpaca Fun Fiber Works, Web site unavailable). I’d already decided upon the rib and cable neckwarmer from Leigh Radford’s One Skein.I’ve already made two of the two-cable scarves: one for my husband, and one for my stepfather. These patterns are well thought out, fun to knit, and quick to finish.

A couple of days later (after working on various projects in my typical fickle fashion), I finished. I thought it looked gorgeous. The alpaca yarn (from Bailey, one of the cuties at Alpaca Fun Farms) is a rich, glossy chocolate brown, soft as butter.
I didn’t use cable needles…they’re slow, and get on my nerves. So the first couple of 3/3 cable rounds, in slick alpaca on Addi Turbo needles, was a real adventure! But once I got into the swing of things–thanks to Grumperina’s tutorial, which I discovered a year ago–the needle-free cabling was no problem at all.

When my friend opened the package (wrapped in the comics section from last week’s paper…why do I never have wrapping paper on hand when I need it??) he seemed to genuinely appreciate it. I just love knitting gifts for friends and family, letting them know how much I love them by investing time, thought, and creativity in their presents instead of money.
(The FO, next to one of my mother’s early sculptures, titled “Grandmother Sleeping.”)

My only complaint about the pattern is that the finished neckwarmer stretched significantly within a couple of days. I offered to thread some elastic through it, but Thom said he liked the drape and was wearing it “cravat style.” If I make another, I will definitely go down another needle size (I already went down from US#6 to US#5), and will probably cast on fewer stitches, as well.

Still, it’s lovely (thanks to Bailey!) and soft, warm and handmade with love. And in the end, isn’t that the real gift?