Archive for November, 2011

Rather Late Christmas Presents

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Last Christmas I gave my brothers soft squishy presents under the tree.  They unwrapped and found bags of fiber which I promised to make into something that would be unique and perfect for them.  I never guaranteed that they’d be done quickly or anything.  Here are the results of several months of spinning and knitting.

A cable hat for brother #1 made of merino wool


And…for brother #2 who can’t wear anything wool because it is too scratchy, a pair of mittens designed for operating an iPod or iPad made out of superfine alpaca.


These are hunting gloves, with a finger and thumb separated from the hand.  The tips of the index finger and thumb have conductive thread stitched in.  This is what lets the touch screen devices pick up the “touch” signal.finger

He’s going to have the warmest hands this winter–no need to take these mitts off EVER!



Two More Hats

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

With a new season of robotics comes the new flock of robot hats.  Here are hats #53new hat

And #54new hat

We’re preparing for the kick off of the FIRST robotics tournament this January.  We work each Thursday building skills in technology and teamwork.  It’s a large group this year, but the good thing is that this year everyone is learning to knit!

For A Baby Girl

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Many of my friends are having babies these days, so I’ve started knitting some baby clothes to give them.  It’s a great way to use up some of my sock yarn/baby yarn stash.  The yarn is generally superwash wool or acrylic, which is suitable for baby clothes that tend to need quite a lot of washing.  This particular pattern is my new favourite.  It is the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi by Jennifer.  The pattern is so easy to follow, and is knit in one piece with absolutely no seams to sew up at the end.

To go with the cute sweater I knit up a “Top Down Bonnet” by Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn .  It is such a nice pattern that fits babies so well.  I just need to add some ties and it will be all done.

The combination will be packaged up, ready for the first girl to be born.

Knitting For A Sparkle Monster

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Since she was about 6 years old I’ve known Kendra as “The Sparkle Monster”.  I believe the name came from arts and crafts at camp, and grew into a bit of a sparkly obsession over the years.  Sparkle monster has grown up, gotten married, and now has a little sparkle monster of her own.  Baby Julian has made his arrival and must have some sparkles in his wardrobe.

The bonnet is the “Top Down Bonnet” by Adrian Bizilia (Hello Yarn) and the vest is an improvised pattern that ended up making a much larger garment than planned!  It’s a good thing that babies grow quickly.

I knew it would be very important to find the perfect yarn to knit a sparkly ensemble for young Julian, but I do not own any sparkly yarn.  It’s not really what I tend to collect.  I do often get bombarded with knitting advertising which led me to finding Gumdrop Sparkle Yarn in Lemon and Cherry.  I waited while this lovely package of sparkly goodness made its way through the postal system, and was delighted to see that the sparkly bits are not rough and scratchy.  In fact, the yarn is soft and slippery with a single thin ply of a shiny metallic thread throughout.  The slipperiness of the yarn led to issues when joining a new ball.  If you don’t tie a knot between the two balls of yarn they will slip and slide and stitches will work themselves undone.

This yarn did get a bit fiddly to knit with–the yarn becomes easily split, and the sparkly thread can stretch or bunch up, or sometimes get dropped or knit together with another stitch.  It’s worth it to get the sparkles though!  The glint shows up in the stitching really nicely.

As I was finishing the neck and arm edges on the little vest I came across another issue with this yarn.  There is really limited elasticity, so on cast off edges it was really really tight–so tight I had to undo it and redo it about 4 times before I could even imagine putting this over a child’s head.  I think it’s big enough now!

I hope that little Julian will enjoy being a little sparkle monster.  I look forward to meeting him some time soon!  In the mean time, this little outfit is going in the mail later this week.

Missing The Daylight

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The days suddenly seem very short.  November has been unseasonably warm, and I’ve not really realized how close we are getting to winter until I see the sun setting just after 4PM.  Having longer evenings is lovely, but I do miss seeing the daylight!  These pictures were taken in the afternoon sunset.

My latest knitting project is a pair of mittens that I knit over the past few weekends.  It’s my usual pattern, “Fox and Geese” by Robin Hansen.  I love the thick fabric created by the stranded knitting technique.  I enjoy the long cuffs, and know that they will keep me warm this winter.  I’m not thrilled with how the cuff tends to roll.  I know I should probably do a few rows of ribbing or garter stitch to flatten them out.Pictured with my new mittens is my new Christmas cactus.  There was a great deal on festive plants at the grocery store, and now I’m eagerly awaiting the blossoms.