Friday, January 15, 2010

Beginning and Ending Knits

Can you guess what this Socks From Stash surprise project is, peeking out from its bag? Read all the way to the end of this post to find out!

A new year brings new projects to begin and some old projects to complete or abandon. I haven't shared much knitting in the past few months, and as I am putting the finishing touches on some completed items and starting some things new, I thought it would be a good time to post about them.

First of all, one of my favorite finished projects - another pair of my Serene Hands Entrelec Mittens. These were a gift for my daughter. They also won first prize for mittens knit from commercial wool yarn at our Michigan Shepherds Weekend Warm and Wooly Mitten competition!

I really did not get a lot of knitting done over the summer months last year, but with some help from the same daughter mentioned above, I was finally able to finish a pair of socks for my friend and fellow shepherdess Cheryl. I spun a 3-ply yarn from her Jacob sheep roving and my daughter finished knitting these so I could get them to Cheryl in time to keep her feet warm for winter! A simple ribbed pattern, pictured below along with an heirloom squash:

We were working from an outline of her foot and they were a bit loose, so Cheryl shrunk them just a touch and now they are nice house socks. Beautiful roving to work with by the way - check out the Painted Rock Farm website!

After the sock work was completed, I joined a KAL on Ravelry and at our LYS, Sip 'n Knit to make the Heather Hoodie Vest (Ravelry link) from the Fall 2009 issue of Knitscene magazine. I chose to make my version from some stash millspun Corriedale yarn made with wool from our flock. I made some changes to customize my vest, like knitting in the round in one piece to the underarms and not adding the ribbed sleeve caps the original pattern called for, but for the most part I followed the wonderfully written pattern:

I finished my Wrap Me Up Shawl and it was lovely - a work of art! A few folks in my knitting circle were stunned that only days after completing it, I gave it away. It became a prayer shawl for a very special friend who lost her oldest child. My prayers and hugs went with it, and my continued prayer is that it has brought her at least a moment or two of comfort as she faces the new year ~

I don't have a picture of the finished was to large to photograph well ;) I would definately make this pattern again - it was a joy to work on, never boring and a great stash busting project! This one was a mixture of commercial and handspun yarns.

Other small finished items were a pair of Malabrigo Leafprint mitts; a pair of Spiral Rib Mittens from handspun Corriedale plus a few basic knit items for charity - caps and scarves. In January at Sip 'n Knit we started a year long KAL following Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitters Almanac, calling it a "Year of Knitting EZ". I made a Fishtrap Aran swatch cowl from a buttery yellow Plymouth Galway wool stash yarn:

...and immediately cast on for a second version, also from stash yarn, with plans of making this second item into a full hat. Other Almanac projects currently on the needles are this Moccasin Sock in red (Cascade 220 from stash) and the Baby Sweater on Two Needles for February (handspun Corriedale blend):

The Moccasin Sock is going to do double duty to fulfill some knitting obligations of making projects from stash, especially socks, as my Christian Artisan friends and I begin a year of Socks From Stash sock club! My second project for this kal is for a new pair of Felt Clog slippers for me. Here is the stash yarn I chose (I already had the pattern, too...does that count as stash?):

More Cascade 220 in dark green and silvery grey. The small ball of white roving is in the photo for a reason, too...I am planning to needle felt some roving to the inside bottom of the slipper ~ something extra warm and cozy next to my feet!

Whew, those are just some of my knitting beginnings and ends...what are some of yours?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Welcome Twenty~Ten!

I'm a few days late in wishing everyone a wonderful start to the new year. I'm excited...I'm looking forward to learning each day what God has planned for me in all my days going forward, as many more as He allows. I hear people say all the time what awful times we live in, and yes there is much about the world that is bad. But my God knows what lies ahead. And we know, through His precious Word, that no matter what happens to us and to this world, that He is with us and that we will one day be reuinted with Him. As the old song says "Everyday with Jesus, is sweeter than the day before!"

I don't have much else to say, so I thought I would share just a few photos of the year gone by, starting with the snows of January '09 and and continuing on, more or less, through the seasons ~

(These photos are, beginning at the top - January snow, one year ago; bags of feed for "Doc" Smith - no matter how long Bill has been retired, he is still Doc Smith to the community! We're thankful for abundance, our own corn and oats in the grain bank at the local feedmill. Next, bountiful spring grass and a good crop of lambs; the Round House in summer; friends and family - brother Michael and friend Mary at my folks place; zinnias in our garden; Papa Bill & Elliot, special buddies. I'm not sure what they were looking at!. All three boys digging thistles - Mason said the next day "I hate to tell you this, Grandma, but there are hundreds more baby thistles"! A favorite heirloom squash this fall and new favorite apple; an old rope & pulley hanging in the Burnham barn; the Burnham Barn looking cold in the snow and finally the two little brothers at the Nativity. Elliot held the porcelin baby Jesus in his hand and said "Grandma, Baby Jesus has no blanket!" Oh, how profound that innocent little statement was)

Thank you to everyone who visits my blog or our website or our farm. God Bless each of you this coming year. Please be sure to visit often and drop a note when you can...we treasure every one!