Checks and Balances

The little basket weave sweater finally got finished and my cold/flu finally went away. I couldn’t wait because I wanted to get the new sweater on the needles and get a good start before I had to travel to Texas. I’m going for the Thanksgiving holiday to be with my daughter and to puppy sit her 8 month old Texas Heeler. She has a conference in Atlanta her team is presenting their findings from their Aerospace Engineering project they are working on. It’s hard to believe she is old enough to do this. Seems like a few months ago she was in high school.

So needless to say I started knitting and actually got the back done on the sweater. My daughter-in-law picked out the pattern, which uses size 8 needles so I expect to finish this quick but there are a lot of distractions. The puppy kind of loves to get attention by antagonizing my chihuahua, who is clearly not amused. She requires about 3 walks a day and 15 potty breaks! Sheesh. I thought this would be easy!

I tried to knit during the championship NASCAR race but my millennial daughter does not have cable and the whole Surface Pro hooked up to the TV screen thing was a bit beyond me. It required some cord we did not have so I watched on my iPad while a large puppy jumped on me asking to play fetch. Plus it’s raining. A lot. Today will be time-out for anyone who doesn’t take naps!

Also we are supplying the turkey and trimmings for 13 of her friends (mostly boys, these are aerospace students after all) who are insisting on having it at their duplex apartment. How does one cook and then transport a huge turkey across town? One of the girls in the group is worried about the state of the boys refrigerator and whether they have thought this through… My daughter doesn’t get back from the conference till Tuesday and my husband arrives Wednesday. This will be a Thanksgiving to remember. Good thing I love young people.

So the shopping is mostly done and today I will concentrate on the sweater front. I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going well.

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Check Mate

All week long I’ve been sick. I just could not shake whatever I came down with on our trip to Maine. The cold didn’t last but my stomach was not doing well. I just could not eat. After a week of that I am finally back to normal. But I spent the week inside, knitting. I am happy to report that I’m nearly done with the little lavender checkerboard cardigan for my granddaughter. I do find working with size one needles (for all the ribbing) hard on my hands. It’s all about holding the tension of such a tiny needle. But I carried on and finally starting watching the Harry Potter Movie series at the same time.

The weather was windy and rainy for much of the week only to dawn crisp as an apple this morning. The color on Cape Cod is spectacular this year. It’s a double treat to see it first in Maine, then at home. The outdoor plants have been moved inside to a heated porch and all the deck furniture put away. And now that Halloween is over the Christmas commercials are on in full force. It makes me realize how little time there is to get presents made. Happy knitting.

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Fall Colors

It’s been a busy fall on Cape Cod. We decided to take a weekend off and go on a small getaway to Maine. It sounded awesome when we planned it on October first but by the time we were leaving lots of things sort of muddied the waters, so to speak. First there was that Nor’easter that was slated to hit the northern New England Coast, then there was my grandson. I usually watch him on Sundays and the last Sunday before we left he came packed with a cold.

Of course I had a nice week to finish my big cable knit sweater and incubate that cold so it hit with the same force as the Nor’easter on the drive up to Bar Harbor. The weather was actually nice for the drive up, my head; not so much. After a quick stop at Grace Robinson yarn shop in Freeport the cold hit me full on. The trip was prepaid so I soldered on eating Fisherman’s cough drops all the way. I had blueberry pie and hot tea for dinner.

The next day was worse. I wanted to see Acadia National Park so we drove and didn’t get out of the car except for some photos of fall foliage and ice floes on the road side. As the weather slowly gathered steam and became a full blown nor’easter we ran across the street to finally have our lobster dinner but I was fighting a fever along with the cold drizzle.

Our room, thank goodness, had a cozy fireplace and two big French doors that unfortunately let in quite a bit of rain water as it battered the hotel all night. No matter, why be sick at home when you can have an adventure while your coughing and sneezing.

The whole thing was worth it when by Sunday morning, after the fever broke, I woke up hungry and feeling much better. We had breakfast at this awesome locals hangout called Cafe This Way. They, along with almost everyone, were closing for the season that day and it was packed. Blueberry Pancakes, pure maple syrup, corn beef hash and eggs and strong coffee and I was good to go for the day.

We stopped in Camden, Maine on the way back to visit one of my favorite yarn shops called the Cashmere Goat. I went a little wild since I haven’t made a yarn purchase since we went to Colorado 2 years ago. I’ve been diligently knitting from my stash. But it’s time to make a sweater for myself. Ok I got some DK cashmerino for a baby sweater, but the rest was for socks for gifts.

We topped it all off with a stop in Kennebunkport to watch the huge crashing waves from the leftover nor’easter and have a small bite before heading back home.

So if you have to be sick with a cold, I highly recommend pairing it with an adventure (one that hopefully includes yarn shops).

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Summer is Gone

Summer is gone, summer is over and gone. It’s the sound the crickets make according to the book Charlotte’s Web. Here on Cape Cod it is actually quite chilly and it was as if someone flipped a switch on Labor Day. I’ve been awfully busy and haven’t written. The problem is that I write on Sunday nights and I’ve been watching my grandson overnight on Sundays all summer. I could have switched to a different day but is was very busy. Things are slowing down now like the crickets sad summer song.

The good thing is I got a lot of knitting done!

Child’s knitted topBaby sweaterNewborn jacket and booties sets

The color block top is made from lucious Phildar Thalassa which has seaweed and cotton in the fiber. It’s so smooth and lovely to work with. Plus it washes well. I only had 3 tiny balls of each color so it worked out perfectly.

The second is a sweater for my daughter in law’s best friend who is due with her 2nd baby. Since I made one for her other friend I sort of had to do this. But baby sweaters are quick and they use up stash yarn.

The third is my nail tech is having his third boy in 3 years. I kinda feel bad, they have been trying for a girl so I went overboard with 2 sets of booties. Again, I started this with his first baby. Hopefully they are done! Lol

And I also have been finishing up the Confident Cables sweater for my youngest daughter. I started it last year and it was so complicated and tedious that I let it sit in time-out all summer. But with all the baby stuff out of the way it’s all I really have left to work on. Then I hit a snag. I was going to run out of yarn. I bought this yarn from Durango Yarn on a ski trip to Colorado and they were out of my color. By time I got to the last sleeve they had more in and I sent for it right away. The store owner sent it quick post and so the last sleeve is nearly done. Sigh of relief. Cable sweater pieces

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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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Investments

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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