January 27, 2016

Alpaca Gloves

I have only ever made one other pair of gloves, many years ago, so I enjoyed trying them again. And since I am on a major yarn diet this year (there are drawers, and glass jars of wool on every floor of the house!), I felt virtuous putting a bit of that stash to good use.
The alpaca yarn is incredibly soft and warm. The downside is that, being so soft with very little twist to the fibers, the stitch definition is not great, even after blocking, but it is easy to forgive this little flaw with such beautiful colours in this yarn line and with such a luxurious feel.
Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern
Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca
Colour: 7120
Needles: Circular and DPN's - 2.25 mm
I highly recommend Ann Budd's book of basic patterns. It's a really good investment for your knitting library. She gives instructions for hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, and sweaters in every size and stitch gauge. And provides suggestions on how to vary the basic patterns.
I was not totally satisfied with my handiwork in closing the gaps at the base of each finger but I look on it as a learning curve. The technique will improve with time.

January 04, 2016

First Finished Projects of 2016

Pattern: Korrigan
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Alegria
Colour: A401
Needles: Circular - 3.25 mm
This is the first time I have used the Alegria yarn. Very soft but with good stitch definition. Seems like a good choice for baby wear.
Pattern: Barley
Yarn: Sweet Fiber Yarns Cashmerino Worsted
Colour: Winter
Needles: Circular - 5.0 mm and 4.0 mm
The garter stitch section of the hat is in the front only. The remainder is in stocking stitch. It is a lovely pattern and can be made into a beanie or a slouch hat, depending on what kind of fit you prefer.

December 23, 2015

The Day Before Christmas Eve

Pattern: Basic Cabled Socks
Designer: Brainylady
Yarn: Regia 4 ply Solids
Colour: 01980 (Denim)
Needles: Circular 2.25 mm




October 20, 2015

A Cardi For Kate's Little Man


Pattern: Baby/toddlers seamless top down Fisherman's Rib Jacket P058
Size: 0-6 months
Designer: OGE Knitwear Designs
Yarn: Baby Natural DK by Naturally
Colour: 101
Needles: Circular 4.0 mm

It was such a pleasure to work on this pattern. It is a top down, seamless cardigan, knit in a New Zealand wool made from a rare breed Arapawa fleece. The wool is so soft to the touch that baby will feel as if he is being encased in the arms of a Gund bear! The yarn is spun only in the natural shades with no dyes or bleaches added.

This is a picture of an Arapawa sheep taken from the website, http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/arapawa.html, which does a nice job of describing the breed.

September 12, 2015

Today Is Hadley's Birthday

The Giggles - The many, many giggles
The Anticipation - Every holiday is better when you have a Hadley
The Mischief - a great deal of mischief
The Sweetness
The Dearness
The Ability To Strike Fear In Brother's Heart
The Daughter
The Sister
The Writer
The Queen of Hearts
Happy Birthday, Hadley!



August 14, 2015

The Invisible Renovation and Other Events of the Summer

Ever heard of Kitec? That is the name of the company that manufactured the orange heating tubes or pipes for hot water heating and plumbing systems that were installed in thousands and thousands of homes across North America. And they all should probably be replaced, even if the homeowner has experienced no difficulties, because insurance companies most often will no longer cover damage costs if the system breaks down, or provide insurance to the new buyers purchasing your home, making the house far more difficult to sell.

So the first part of the summer was spent having a construction company cut over sixty holes in the ceilings on the main floor and in the basement. The plumbers then removed the Kitec piping and installed the new system. The carpenters followed behind, setting the gyproc back into the hole openings, crack filling, sanding, priming and painting.

We used Blunden Construction and I cannot say enough about how great they were at making an awful project relatively painless. The ceilings look even better now than they did when the house was first constructed! We do still mourn the fact, though, that we spent thousands of dollars for what amounted to an invisible renovation!

Pattern: Weekend Pullover
Designer: Andrea Sanchez
Size: 18 months
Yarn: Diamond Luxury Collection Pure Wool Superwash
Colour: 925
Needles: Circular - 5 mm

This great pullover pattern is sized from six months to twelve years. This is the second time I have knit it and it is a breeze, being knit seamless from the bottom up. I hope Alec looks as good in red as his Mama did when she was a child.

In July, Melissa came from Toronto for a visit. It was her first time in Nova Scotia and we were so happy to be able to show her around. She thought at first that she might not like lobster. Ye Gods and Little Fishes! Imagine coming to Nova Scotia and not liking lobster. The entire family was in an uproar! But, being a very good sport, she was willing to give it another try and, before we knew it, she was an expert at ordering lobster rolls in restaurants and shelling a lobster at home.

We went with her on a one hour boat tour off Peggy's Cove. With the aid of an underwater camera, and a big screen onboard, we watched lobster and flounder on the ocean floor go after pieces of mackerel. Melissa was even able to don a captain's cap and act as a co-pilot of sorts, hands at the wheel. She is a master organizer so I benefited greatly when she tackled a linen closet and a couple of drawers that had gotten badly out of hand and tamed them into perfect order. (Memo to Self: Invite Melissa back.) She also was a good sport about joining in on family games night and proved to be one of those individuals who say they are "not much of a games person" and then proceed to perform brilliantly at the table.

The following week, Golden Girl came home from Toronto, mainly to spend some time with her Uncle Floyd, who was nearing the end of his life in a care facility. It was marvelous to have the opportunity to spend some time with her.

Beautiful Nora is still as joyful as ever. This summer, she is participating in the tracking program on Saturdays at Lietash Farm, and we have taken out a membership in the large, wooded off-leash Paws in the Park where she can run to her heart's content and play with other dogs

This summer also marked the end of an era.

My brother, Floyd

Floyd was a committed family man, a community volunteer, an outdoorsman, gardener, and a true force of nature. He grew up on Agricola Street in the north end of Halifax and experienced life in the seaport during the Magazine Explosion and the Second World War.

  Here is Golden Girl speaking with her Uncle Floyd about the Bedford Magazine (munitions) Explosion.

Floyd spent most of his working life in the finance department of CBC Halifax. Much of his spare time was spent volunteering with the Sackville Volunteer Fire Department. It is a testament to his character that many of his friendships have lasted from the 1950's until the day of his death. He will be greatly missed by so many.

May 20, 2015


Mama said, "I don't want everything he wears to be blue."

Pattern: Limepop Sweater
Designer: Terri Kruse
Yarn: Mineville Wool Project Merino Single Ply DK
Colour: Moss
Needles: Circular - 4.0 mm

I loved knitting this little pullover for Alec. The pattern was a pleasure to work - so well written that the sweater came together perfectly. And the Mineville Wool Project yarn is soft, has great stitch definition, and, as an added bonus, is machine washable!

Because the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, I knit the size 2T/3T to get 18/24 month, using the body and sleeve length for the smaller size. As this was a top down knit, the only other adjustment I made was to use a tubular cast on to produce a much more stretchy neckline. I found this knitbot video to be most helpful in learning how to do the tubular cast on.