For Company Sake

If you’ve been wondering where I have been it has to do with Cape Cod and Summer. There was a confluence of relatives and friends that decided Cape Cod was the place to be this August. I had a pile of knitting to get done (not to mention shopping, guest rooms to make up, excursions to plan along with general everyday life) before anyone arrived. It was fun to have our little granddaughter here. She is 2 1/2 and cute as a button. The pink Bee Dress was for her but I wasn’t happy with it so I added a lace border.

Knitted Pinafore

The Tomato Soup Hoodie got done and adding a stripe to the hood helped me stretch the yarn. I’ve never made a pouch pocket before so this was a fun addition.

Red knit hoodie

But most fun of all was the a little Pink Color block Gillet. This was one of the cutest patterns in my baby King Cole Pattern Book. I had this wonderful yarn from Phildar that has cotton blended with a type of seaweed to make it soft, cool and completely eco friendly. It is called Thalassa and you have to travel to France to get it as it isn’t sold online anywhere. I only had 3 – 50gram balls so I knew I was cutting it close. Sure enough the little sleeves needed another color so I used white Cotton On by James Brett and it worked out adorably. The ceramic hand painted buttons (one flower, one bunny) were just the perfect finishing touch.

Pink knit gillet

Since I never really stop knitting I also finished up a newborn sweater for a friend of my daughter in law that was in her wedding. It’s her 2nd baby and they are thrilled to be having a brother for their little girl. Since everything is blue , blue, blue for boys I decided to use a soft mint green and a very old pattern from a McCalls Baby knitting magazine circa 1987! It was knit all in one piece but the needles were US 1s & 2s so it seemed to take forever. The baby is due in October so I used a soft baby wool from my Phildar stash called Partner Baby. Baby sweater

All of this doesn’t sound like much but I didn’t mention that our air conditioning broke in the hottest most muggy days and we had to wait a week for the part. Not very nice for guests so we were at the pool most days. Then once they went home we had our baby grandson for 3 days and nights while my son and daughter in law went to a wedding up in Maine. He was sick with a fever and teething 4 molars. And in the middle of all this, it was my birthday!

So now that things have calmed down I’m back to working on projects that have sat on the shelf for months as I’ve run out of babies to knit for. But more on that next week, I promise!

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Tomato Soup Hoodie

I wanted to make another sweater for my 3 yr old grandson but every time I make one for him, he outgrows it before I can get it to him. So this time I opted for a much larger size than I would for that size child and I started it just before his visit to the United States. You see, he’s a little Parisian. This will be his first airplane flight and visit to a foreign country. I chose Sheepjes Cahlista Cotton for the yarn and a good sized needle (7s & 8s). The color says Hot Red but it’s exactly the color of a tomato. The pattern is Greenland Playtime Hoodie . I’m just finishing the first sleeve and it’s a raglan, sew-in sleeve with a cute front pouch. Now I’m crossing my fingers he hasn’t grown too much since April and that I have enough yarn (which took a month to get from England).

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In the Pink

Bee buttonThis is the story of the little cotton sundress for a certain little two year old girl who will be coming to Cape Cod soon. Now I love to follow patterns, I’m not one to adapt patterns with one change after another. There are a few patterns I’ve made many times and know without even consulting the actual pattern but still; I’m following a pattern. My main reason is that I don’t have time to fiddle with the stitches but also I really don’t have the inclination to. I want to find just the right one for what I have in mind. And sometimes I just like to try something new that catches my eye. But this time I ventured out and changed a little something in the pattern. In the summer we want cool clothes so cotton that is knitted needs to be airy and that not easy on such a small pattern. Instead of straight stockinette stitch on the Lion Brand Child’s Sun Top, I made some little lace flowers in the hem of the sundress pinafore. It doesn’t sound like much but stitches should be counted if one wants it to look even. Throwing caution to the wind I randomly chose five stitches as my starting point for the yarn overs. If you have read my blog over the past year you know that there hasn’t been a project I’ve started only to rip it out at least twice before it really gets going. Well I’m astonished to report that 5 stitches fit the amount of cast on stitches exactly! I ran two rows of the mini lace pattern I made up and it worked perfectly. I didn’t even have to rip and restart this project. I dug out some cute bee buttons purchased last year in Paris to finish off the whimsical look. Now all I need is a little girl. I can’t wait for August.Knitted sundress

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Pool Party

Living room fireplace What a month it has been! I never could find time to post. Plus I had to finish something worth posting about. Lots of work has been done on our house and getting the garden in order for the first time has taken up most of my days. I’m happy to report we are FINALLY in our Master Bedroom (with most of the furniture) after 9 months of remodeling. The bathroom is still in process but the plumbing is due to get hooked up next week (fingers crossed) along with the house painted. IThe biggest news is that the fireplace is up and running! I asked for it to be finished by Christmas. Last Christmas. What can I say? Even though that didn’t happen it looks beautiful.

For knitting I have finished the Pool Sweater for my grandson’s 1st Birthday which is next week. I can’t believe it’s gone by so fast. He is a joy to watch on Sundays and seems to love coming to “Grandma Livey’s” house. Since we moved into the master bedroom I’ve been able to make our spare bedroom into a Guest Suite complete with nursery area. It’s fun to get out the rocking horse my children used and set up the books and toys.

Cotton sweater

In between bark mulch, flower bed planting and lamp post electrical hooks ups I’ve managed to start a Pink Summer Sundress for my 2 year old Granddaughter who will be visiting in August. I took it to the Opening Day at Our Clubhouse Pool for “Knitting in Public Day”. Who am I kidding, I knit in public all the time. I don’t even know when that Holiday is!

Garden astrolabePresident Lincoln RoseLamppost Garden

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Lavender Lace and Texas Grace

PuppyReturning home from Paris took quite a bit of reacclimation. The 6 hour time difference plus the advent of daylight savings time (theirs is after ours) makes for mixed up sleep times. I hung out and knit when I wasn’t falling asleep in the daytime. The beautiful lace baby sweater, Lucille , needed to get finished because the baby has been born and it’s still chilly in the northeast despite our 3 days of warm weather. I stress “days” as it cools quite cold at night.

Lavender baby sweater

Notice the table cloth and linen kitchen cloth from Provenance I found at a gorgeous shop in the St Germain district of Paris. These, along with treasures from Cafe Floré and a box of chocolates from Angelina Tea shop (which, devoid of those said chocolates has become the perfect knitting bag accessory tin box) make a perfect picture.

So I was home 10 days, enough time to finish the sweater, whip another room into shape from the ongoing remodel saga and pack up again. This time heading to Texas to help my daughter bring home her new puppy. She had a 9 hour round trip drive and I didn’t want her to do it alone so here I am, deep in the heart of Texas heat (which is a nice change, I’m not complaining). So far so good with puppy, and potty training is going well. She is an 8 week old Texas Blue Heeler so she dwarfs my chihuahua even at the infant stage. I’ve been knitting while flying, driving and puppy watching. This time it’s a Pool Blue Summer Stripe Hoodie, for my grandson who will be 1 year old next month! Time flies and soon this puppy will be romping and tearing things up too but for now we’re happy she mostly sleeps, eats and plays.

Cotton knitting

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Red knitted vest for childThe month in Paris has come to a close. Luckily the weather had turned warm for the last few days and I was able to do some Park Knitting in between my walks around the city. As lovely as it was I am so happy to be home. The house remodel project had a few improvements (the shower glass got installed) but things don’t really progress unless you’re there to, well, progress them.

During my last week in Paris I did another pass through of one of my favorite yarn shops Phildar and got some juicy red yarn for a second play vest for my grandson to wear at his other grandmother’s house (she had wanted a red one). It only took 4 days to make but I decided not to walk it over to their house and will mail it as a surprise.

Jet lag is chasing me so by next week I should be back to normal and maybe I will have the lace baby sweater finished. I put it away after getting lost on the chart on the sleeves which are knitted in the round on double pointed needles. The pattern cannot be followed exactly being in the round so I need to re chart it out for myself to make it work. I was afraid I would be bored on the 7 hour flight home so I started some socks. I’ll save the pictures for next week so you can see some of the best ones of Paris.

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April in Paris

Cherry blossomsAll the visions of cherry blossoms and tulips come to mind when one mentions April in Paris, but this is my 4th year of this trip and the weather has ranged all the way from near snow to sweltering steamy heat. The one thing that is consistent is burgeoning cafes and the decadent pastries. Also walking and blisters; it never fails that I get them but this year I brought American Bandaids because the French apparently don’t get blisters as theirs are thin and essentially useless.

Since last week the weather has been a tad warmer which has precipitated me to explore and shop for goodies you just can’t find in America. Silk blouses, beautiful tea tins, lovely children’s clothes and toys (grand babies) and of course scrumptious yarn.

As my time here comes to an end I continue to knit when I can. One day I brought my knitting bag to Parc Monceau and sat on the iconic Parisian Park benches to work on the Lucille baby sweater. But the lace has become impossible to follow on the sleeves so I’m tucking it away till I can write a chart myself and finish them at home.

Lace knitting in lavender Knitting on a park bench in Paris

So of course I started another play vest for my little French grandson as my daughter’s mother in law really wanted a red one.

Cabled Play vest for child

Red knitting

Paris Cafe

Tulips in Jardin Luxembourg

Jardin Tuileries

Gate to Parc Monceau

Parisian Kitchen Window Garden

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Springtime in Paris

Parc Monseau bridgeIt was a wild March. Too many trips, airplane flights and snow storms. And now I’m in Paris. I arrived at the end of March and it was so cold I needed two coats. You walk in Paris. A lot. Usually 5 miles a day if you want to see anything. Even if you take cabs to get there.

I have to say my first week here was not enjoyable. My seats got somehow switched to Economy, even though I bought an expensive seat, and the snowstorm in Boston the previous day had pushed all those travelers to my plane. There was “nothing they could do”. Not even refund my money? I won’t even go into the issues with my rented apartment. But that cold outside was literally the icing on the cake!

I’m happy to report that after 2 weeks here it has warmed up to Sweater Weather. Meanwhile knit I have. And I’ve noticed people knitting in parks, laundry mats and avidly in yarn shops. I have my favorites here. I’ve already finished a little play vest for my grandson. My daughter’s mother in law likes to keep one on him when he plays at her house, so she asked me to make one. She is so sweet I gave her the beautiful Winters Frost socks I made. Someday I’ll keep a pair for myself. Knitted socks

That done I’ve returned to the little lacy sweater for a baby gift project I brought with me. I’ve ripped the lace out 3 times but I think I have it figured out now. You know how it is with charted patterns; you have to pay attention until you get enough stitches done to see the pattern on the needles.

I know New England keeps getting hit with snow and that I’m in Paris and really shouldn’t complain but I do wish Springtime would arrive for us all!

Flower Shop, ParisThe Seine, ParisSacre Coure, Paris

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That Moment When You Realize…

Knit socksIt probably happens all the time, but not to me. I pride myself in being one of those self aware people that keeps track of things, makes lists, checks items off and actually finishes projects. Plus I’ve made my fair share of socks. So what the heck happened? My socks have different heel flaps! I guess I didn’t read about rows 3 & 4 of the directions on the first sock. It’s not like I was going to rip out a completely finished sock. So they have different style heel flaps..who will notice? This otherwise easy sock pattern has been tricky because of 3 plane trips, one packing and moving and a humongous Nor’easter that took out everything but power!? No Cable, Cell Service, land lines and quite a bit of panic as trees fell all around but not on top of our house. Plus my husband stayed home from work. So these will be called “The Winter from Hell” Socks. I wish I could have concentrated more, Winters Frost is a delightful pattern and knits up quickly if you’re not doing all that other stuff.

Nothing is getting done on our remodel and our moving boxes, well, they are on a truck somewhere and won’t arrive till I leave for my next trip. (I booked a trip to Paris for a month last year. Sounds better than it will be, more on that later) Needless to say, I’m losing my mind and knitting is the only thing keeping me sane. At least I have a nice warm pair of socks for the next storm.

Knitted socks

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The Third Movement

Moving boxesThis has been a very long week. I flew to Miami to pack up our apartment and quickly realized this was not going to be as easy as I thought. I spent a frantic 3 days buying more moving boxes, making food for myself from our depleted and rapidly shrinking larder, organizing and packing boxes. As with any move you find a lot of useless stuff that can be given away, if you’re lucky, or thrown out. The one thing I was happy to find was my stash of knitting needles in all the important sizes. It was good so I could start on the Winters Frost second sock when it got too late to move things around. No sense waking the neighbors. So even though I barely got the boxes packed before the movers arrived on Wednesday morning, I was able to cast on and start the sock. Its funny but when chaos is reigning supreme, knitting has a way of calming the soul by giving you something (albeit ever so small) orderly you can still control.

I flew home the following day (of course I worked on the sock) so that meant an afternoon and evening without lamps, TV, furniture or pots to cook in. Let’s just say I had a lot bread and jam on paper plates. I was so happy to get home and climb into bed. I slept 12 hours the first day back. The movers will arrive with all the clobber next Tuesday but in the meanwhile, I plan to relax with Netflix, a nice ball of yarn and 5 pointy size 1 sock needles. Sock being knitted

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