Indecision 2010

I feel as though I am sunk in knitting indecision right now.  I still have not decided on what project I am going to knit for my Knitting Olympics project.  I know that I should be swatching right about now to ensure that the yarn I have will work for the project, but I just cannot decide!  I know it will not be knit with something I spun myself like I had originally thought.  I still have 1/3 of this beautiful superwash merino to spin before I can ply it and I just don’t see it happening in the next two weeks.  The green and brown corridale that I showed you in a previous post hasn’t made it’s way off the spindle yet. 

This is what I do know:

  • I need to weave in the ends and photograph a baby bootie and cap set for our friend Darla’s new baby.  (and mail it)
  • I need to finish up another baby sweater and mail it off. 
  • I am itching to knit something for myself for a change.
  • My littlest one needs a new pair of mittens and I’ve decided to design my own pair for her.  I’m mostly finished with the first mitten.
  • Whatever I knit for the Knitting Olympics will be sleeveless – it’s all I can reasonably expect to get done in the alloted time. 
  • I’m very taken by the Slinky Rib top from Custom Knits (Free Pattern here)
  • I am quite open to any ideas for a vest/sleeveless top pattern that anyone might have. 

Luckily I am taking off this weekend for a scrapbooking weekend with my older sister.  I’m suspecting that I’ll spend more time knitting than I will scrapbooking.  My laptop is so slow that I usually get a good amount of knitting done while I’m waiting for the scrapbook page elements to load. 

Lastly, I thought I should also answer some questions that have come up in the comments.

  • I have taken the liberty of deleting a few comments that do not seem to belong here.  I hope I don’t offend anyone, but I’m deleting the ones that don’t appear to be written by a human.  Nope, I don’t really need your ringtone, free or otherwise and I do not need to meet any nice women. 
  • I do not have any Sesame Street character sweater patterns.  My grandma seemed to have steered clear of that fashion trend, although she does have a few sweaters from the 70’s that are downright crazy.  Knittymuggins is right, something goofy was going on in the 70’s when it came to clothing.  (Although one could probably say the same about the 80’s). 
  • The bread recipe that I have talked about (I love it!) is actually from Artisan Breads in Five Minutes a Day and can be found on, Barnes and Noble or at a local bookstore.  I noticed that I misspelled the book title and it caused some confusion. 




Vintage Part II

All week I’ve kept going back to the vintage patterns my Grandma gave me.  I’m amazed at how fashions have really circled right back around to where they were fifty years ago.  OK, maybe the hairstyles have changed and maybe the sweaters end at the hips now instead of the natural waist, but the basics are there.  Sure, hemlines and colors change.  A cabled girls cardigan?  Yep, still in.  In fact, this is one I’d like to do in navy blue so my oldest daughter can wear it as a school uniform. 

It’s easy to see that the baby items haven’t changed much either.  Maybe the majority of moms don’t use soakers anymore, but they’re still out there with the cloth diapering crowd.  (As for cloth diapering, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.  The new cloth diapers are amazing).  By the way, check out the price on this pattern booklet!  I think there were around 32 pages in this 8 1/2" x 11" booklet, so it wasn’t a tiny one. 

The one thing I did notice about the baby patterns was that lace was definitely acceptable for either boys or girls, as were bonnets.  Since ultrasounds weren’t in use yet, all of the baby items are knitted in white.  These ladies were thrifty and practical. 

Thank you to everyone that’s been commenting on the blog.  I love reading the comments!  I also appreciate everyone who gave me t-shirt slogan suggestions.  I decided to hold off on the t-shirts, just because it seemed cost prohibitive to print up just a few shirts.  Keep reading and keep commenting, I do appreciate the support!

Vintage Knits

My Grandma gifted me with a stack of her old knitting patterns this weekend.  She also had several bags of wool yarn that she gave me.  Most I’m not sure what I’ll do with, and some I may have to overdye because of the colors, but I’m pretty positive it’s all wool. 

The patterns though, are pure gold.  They are amazing.  There’s a lot of baby patterns, as my Grandma taught herself to knit from a book when she was first married.  I think she learned while they were living in Portland, OR while my Grandpa was still in the Navy.  One of the first things she learned to knit were wool soakers, as they didn’t have plastic pants for diapers yet. 

Of course, she knit a lot of socks in her day too.  We talked about the trials and tribulations of knitting socks.  She talked about how frustrating it is to spend time knitting socks for someone, only to have them wear out.  I agreed, but said that todays commercial sock yarns seem to be more hardwearing with the addition of some nylon.  I was again reminded of how things were different when she was a young woman – you definitely did not throw away a pair of socks just because the heel was worn.  You darned them.  If a sweater had worn out elbows, you ripped out the sweater and either knitted a child’s size sweater out of the yarn or you knit it into socks or mittens.  She pointed out that this book (below) has tips for ripping out worn heels and reknitting them. 

This page got me giggling.  It reads,

Hand Knitted Socks by Beehive for Men

Knit your way to his heart.  Any man goes soft and romantic over the little woman who makes socks "just for him".  So knit them in his favorite style, his favorite color…and be sure the wool is the finest, imported straight from England… Beehive. 

Oh yes, and Wonderized Yarn!  Because you wouldn’t want your baby’s sweater to do what the one on the left did.  "Stays true to size, it’s Wonderized!"

There were a fair number of books for women’s clothing.  Everything from 1945 through to the very early 80’s (the last time I remember seeing my Grandma knit).  One of the women’s books was titled, "Campus Women."  It’s totally my style.  A little preppy – OK, a lot preppy!  There’s argyle, there’s cute little cardigans, a Chanel jacket, and there’s this super cute vest.  This may have just won out for my Olympic Knitting Project.  Right now I’m debating between this cabled number and the Scooped Lace Vest from Creative Knitting, January 2010.  There’s enough patterns here to keep me happy for a very very long time. 

It makes me wonder what my Grandchildren will say about my knitting stash some day. 

January Ramblings

Proof that I do more than just knit. 

It’s nine o’clock on a Wednesday night and I am wiped. out.  I might actually be too tired to write two coherent thoughts down.  So I’ll leave you with one. 

If you struggle with what to make every night for dinner (and hate shopping 3 times a week for just one more thing that you forgot the first time around), go get Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely.  She lays out the year by seasons, then for each week there is a list of 5 meals (complete with ideas for sides), recipes and a shopping list for that week.  It is wonderful.  It’s a life saver for a busy mom.  Tonight we had Asian Burritos with Ginger Salsa.  It was a little bit out of the norm for us – hamburger with hoisin sauce, soy sauce and cayenne pepper provided the base – but it received rave reviews from both kids and my husband.  It would not be a stretch to switch out the hamburger for fish or chicken. 

I’ve had this book for about two years, and I keep coming back to it whenever life gets hectic. 


The Baby Albert(a) Jacket

We had a baby shower in our office in December.  I had a week to knit something for the Momma-to-be.  It actually took me just over a week (she got the sweater still on the needles)to knit this.  The kicker, i.e. the part that took the longest, was seaming up the shoulders and finding some cute buttons to match.  It was procrastination, pure and simple.  Well, that and a little indecision.  I had it in my head that I wanted little horses, but I just couldn’t find any.  I finally settled on the flowers. 

I found these cute little flower buttons at Jo-ann Fabrics.  Why is it that buttons are never sold in packs of five, but knitwear designers always put five buttons on sweaters?  I have one little button left over.  I think I need to find a fun baby pattern that would work with lots of different buttons.  Or something. 

The Details:

Yarn:  Cascade Superwash

Needles:  Size 6 Knit Picks Harmony Circular

Pattern:  The Baby Albert Jacket from The Knitting Experience:  Book One:  The Knit Stitch

Modifications:  None really.  It’s a very easy pattern, just cast on and start knitting every row.  Once your section is long enough you cast off the stitches and pick up stitches along one long side.  You’ve got to love garter stitch for nice easy baby clothes!  Another bonus is that you only have to seam along the top of each arm.  There’s also a bunting pattern that is a modification to this jacket.  It’s very cute and very practical for the winters we have up here.  I didn’t have enough yarn to do the bunting, but I do have enough to whip up a pair of booties.  There’s a whole crop of babies coming soon, so it wouldn’t hurt to have a pair of booties on hand for the next little girl. 

Olympic Training

Hours of dedicated training time.  Sore muscles, anguished cries and the hope that maybe this time I can pull it off.  That’s right, I’m in training for the Olympics. 

The Knitting Olympics anyway. 

The Knitting Olympics is something that The Yarn Harlot started several years back.  It only happens (at least for Stephanie Pearl McPhee) once every 4 years during the Winter Olympics.  Last year, during the Summer Olympics, Ravelry started their own Olympics.  The idea is that you pick a project that can be completed during the 2 weeks of the Olympics.  As with any Olympic sport, your project should be something that stretches your boundaries – it should push you to the limits of your knitting endurance.  You then sign up for a team on Ravelry and announce your project.  Several teams are taking members already.  I know the Yarn Harbor in Duluth is sponsoring a team, although as far as I know they haven’t released the details. yet. 

So what’s my project?  I’m not totally sure yet.  I think it would be awesome to spin my own yarn for the project though!  Maybe out of this…

It’s beautiful roving from Cloudlover Fiber


Otherwise the green that you see above is actually green and chocolate brown striped Louet Corriedale that I Navajo Plyed. I just finished that last night and I can’t wait to see how much yardage I have.  It’s not all that even in thickness, it ranges from worsted to fingering weight.  I think I spun it over such a long period of time that my technique has changed.  I do have roving left over, but I’m not sure I can replicate what I’ve done.  Plus, I’m anxious to get on to the Cloudlover Fiber.  So, if you have any pattern ideas for something I can knit out of my crazy handspun, let me know!


No, I haven’t been hiding out, or going incognito, we were hit with a major wave of sickness at our house during the last week in December.  Between that, a short week at work and a trip to the cabin, the blog has been a little neglected.  So I appologize. 

The good news is that there has been lots of knitting going on in the Big Blue House (well, technically most of it happened at the cabin since the kids spent the weekend with Gram and Gramps).  I’ve put buttons on a baby sweater that I had promised someone weeks ago.  I’m working on another brown Unoriginal Hat, I started a scarf, I started an adult sweater, and I will be finishing up a pair of slippers (hopefully) tonight as well as putting buttons on another baby sweater.  Wow, are you tired?  Because that whole thing makes me tired when I look at it that way.  On the flip side, it means lots of fodder for the blog.  I might even have a spinning post coming up soon!! 

So here’s the details on the hat seen above.  That’s Lil’ that’s modelling for me.  She’s got a tiny head, but the hat was made extra long, just in case.

Pattern:  The Boyfriend Hat

Needles: Size 8 US

Yarn:  Mission Falls 136 Merino Superwash, bought at Fabric Works in Superior. 

Modifications:  The only thing I did was add stripes in a contrasting color.  This is the second hat I’ve made this fall for my nephew.  The first hat I did with an entire skein of one color of Mission Falls, however my sister didn’t feel it covered enough of his ears.  So this one I made sure would be absolutely long enough and would cover him until adulthood.  To be fair, the kid does have a big noggin.  I always make him an adult size and he’s only 5 1/2!