Year-End knitting

The end of 2010 was so busy that knitting time was limited. Bill’s sister-in-law’s sister-in law (I know, a convoluted explanation of someone not related to me) had a baby just after Thanksgiving and upon realizing I would be seeing them over Christmas I knew I had, absolutely had, to knit their new baby girl something.

With less than 48 hours and absolutely no trips to the yarn store or time for poring over patterns, I pulled out something I love. I made little ladybug booties.

These booties are designed by Lucie Sinkler and can be found here or on Ravelry as Mary Jane Booties.

After finishing these and discovering I didn’t have any ladybug buttons for them (I had super-cute ones last time) I went back to the same craft store to get more only to discover that, gasp, they didn’t carry them any more. Now, for any knitter trying to finish a project 2 days before Christmas, this is a tragedy. However, a helpful lady came along. She was scouring the button racks for fish and while looking for my ladybugs I started looking for fish buttons for her as well. Neither of us being successful in our hunt we went our separate ways when I heard her call “Miss?” She had found different ladybug buttons over in the tie-dye and puff paint section!

Now, Christmas wasn’t the magical sparkly time I expected it to be, but I did enjoy it. I got to see family I had not seen in a couple years, drove a couple hundred miles, learned more of my family history and even got a real live tree. I did not get to meet the new little baby who so needed lady bug booties but I am hoping to see her some time this year.

My first project of the new year is the same project I have been working on since fall break in early October. Originally designed by Wendy Bernard in her book “Fitted Knits”, my version is really a heavily modified Wicked made into a cardigan.  I love the MIssion Falls 1824 wool and am disappointed to learn it has been discontinued.

My concern at the moment is that the ball you see in the picture is the second to last one. I don’t ‘know if I will have enough for sleeves, also, without the placket the sweater is very tight. I know it is supposed to be very snug, but I’m slightly concerned. I suspect that my 4 month investment may take a turn into the frog pond and then be reknit into something on slightly larger needles so it’s a little more drapey. Actually purchasing Ms. Bernard’s book may be in order, she has really beautiful stuff. Also, then I won’t run out of wool before sleeves are made any more.

In order for the new year, I have a personal goal that I don’t want to share but really want to share. Anyway, I’ve been dating the same sweet fella for 2 years and after a year a girl my age starts thinking seriously about things. After a year and a half a girl my age starts looking in windows at white dresses. At two years I started looking seriously at the calendar. At two and half years maybe it’s time to start looking at shotguns. If that isn’t a hint I don’t know what is.  My other goal is to use up the fabulous bulky alpaca yarn my sister sent me. I have 880 yards of it and high hope that will be enough to make a sweater before all the cold weather leaves for the year. Another goal for the year (since I’m sharing) is to lose 10 more lbs. Last summer I (with dr. support) lost 25 lbs or so and am thrilled at my fab new physique. But I also have hips that pop and a teensy bit of arthritis creeping into my 31 year old bones, so my goal is to take more weight off my hips so I can keep them for as long as possible. I don’t yet know why my hips like to pop out of socket, they have done it for 10 years but I am doing exercises to help hold them in place and am looking in to why they do it.

Hopefully next time there will be more knitting content. I hope you all enjoy the link to the Mary Jane Booties, as they are a free pattern!

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The Last Day

…of Spring Break, that is.

I didn’t accomplish everything I had hoped to do over the break.  I had wanted to go to the gym every day, instead I went to Lake Tahoe and crashed down the stairs.  The gym, along with sitting and standing, was not to be thought about again for at least a week.

Knitting, however, was not off the list.  So I knit a lot.  I started a sweater, first while up in Tahoe, then I ripped it out and started again here after finding a better pattern.  I’m following the top-down raglan pattern found here (called Pioneer), but I’m not making it so tight, I’m using a different gauge, I’m making it a long sleeve cardigan, and I’m taking out the cables.  So really I’m making a different sweater entirely but I am using the basic sweater recipe she wrote, with modifications for my petite (read: short, not slender) frame.

Oh yeah, and more booties (again, following Saartje’s pattern).

ladybug booties!

ladybug booties!

I don’t know what to do with these booties.  Bill suggested I start selling them but I was worried that would be a bad idea since I didn’t write the pattern.  I checked on Etsy and other people are making and selling these for between 16 and 22 dollars, so I am considering it.

They really are adorable, aren't they?

They really are adorable, aren't they?

I also made a pair for Bill’s nephew, Jack.  I did try to give him one of the pairs I had made earlier but they were too small.  So I made a larger pair and was hoping to get them to him this weekend.  It doesn’t look like I will be able to get these to him but I do want those booties on his feet before he outgrows them.  These are made out of double knit baby alpaca yarn in gray and a heathered gray blue.

Jack's botties

Jack's booties

I also started planting for spring.  My bell pepper plants from Verna are doing well and I got a cherry tomato plant, as well as a strawberry and squash plant.  I picked up some basil and mint seeds that I might grow in the kitchen so that I have some fresh herbs.

My adorable little bell pepper.

My adorable little bell pepper.


Darby likes the little patio.

Darby likes the little patio.


Darby is tired from investigating all the new plants.

Darby is tired from investigating all the new plants.

Saturday I am off to the zoo with my cousin which is absolutely fun and exciting.  In the morning I’m going to do day 2 of my “Couch to 5k” program.  I’m hoping one day to be able to run a 5k, preferably before I turn 30 in September.

March of the Booties

I’ve discovered the joy of knitting baby booties and set out to make a slew of them to send to my sister, so that she can find pregnant people to give them to.  I don’t think her cats would be so interested in wearing them…

All lined up for inspection...

All lined up for inspection...

I’ve made seven pairs so far and have sent six of those pairs off to my sister.  The materials used varied, left over bits from other skeins I’ve long lost the label to, fancy alpaca yarn, silk, and baby acrylic.

My favorite booties were the teeny-tiny alpaca ones I made.  Having seen a baby or two since those were made I suspect that those booties would fit only newborn babies or preemies.  I wanted very much to keep them for myself, but since I have plenty of yarn left and have found some super-cute buttons I know there will be more to make.

If only you knew just how small my hands are.

If only you knew just how small my hands are.

For comparison, these pink booties are about the same size.  Here is one on top of a standard size post-it note.

tiny-pink-bootie

Teeny-tiny bootie on a post-it.

There was one pair I didn’t send to my sister.  They are the light purple pnes and somehow one of stitches on the wrong-side row was purled instead of knit.  That and I think they look a little poorly constructed, so I’ll find someone here to pawn them off on.

I made all the alpaca booties while on the way to and while at Lake Tahoe.  That was meant to be a vacation…anyway, that did not go well at all.  I’m not going to air it all out here but I can tell you that I still have a wonderful, patient, sweet boyfriend who will run and check on me after I fall down a flight of carpeted stairs and can’t sit down for the next three days.  He, however, is related to a person who would shout “Is there something wrong with the stairs?”   I will never do a vacation like that again…and I don’t mean the stairs.

Darby stayed with Bill’s mom while we were away.  I know Bill’s mom is an awesome person and I don’t even worry when I leave Darby with her, but she was still happy to see me when we got back.  Darby slept in my lap the next day, happy to be home.

Darby enjoying the sunlight

Darby enjoying the sunlight

Speaking of that trip down the stairs.  That happened a week ago and it still hurts to sit and stand and move about.  I visited with a Nurse Practitioner yesterday (for a previously scheduled engagement) and she was very blase about it “Well, if you broke it there isn’t anything they can do for it anyway.”  Wow, thanks for that info….  Kaiser is being really helpful… and as an aside, they must have gotten rid of their cleaning crew to save money because it was pretty gross in there, especially when it’s supposed to be a medical facility.

Lady Bug Buttons!!!

Lady Bug Buttons!!!

Okey, so on to something positive.  I found these little ladybug buttons and am going to make some more (surprise!) Saartje’s booties in red and black with these little buttons.  They should be the most adorable things ever.

Baby Booties!

My sister mentioned that she has several clients who are expecting and wanted to knit them gifts.  I was quick to offer my services, as I have a lot more free time than my always-working sister.  I started with a pair of Saartjes Booties (ravelry link), a pattern which I have admired.  I used some left over silk-wool blend you might recognize from the cabled hot-water bottle cozy made in December.

saartjes-booties-1I think these are absolutely adorable although I don’t know if the new moms or moms-to-be will like dark purple as much as they would like pink or white.  I will be making a pair in both pink and white before I send them off to my sister.

Saartje's booty

Saartje's booty

The other pattern I used, these ones a quick knit for a co-worker’s baby born Thursday, were Lavish Booties by Lion Brand.  I really was not a fan of the finished result, nor the pattern, but in the end they are not too bad.  I took adorable pictures, which I think helps.

Lavish Booties

Lavish Booties

Lavish Booties 2

Lavish Booties 2

There were plenty of other things I did this weekend, but there is only so much blog one should put up at a time.

For those of you who don’t have Ravelry yet and need links to the free patterns above, here are links easily accessible to you.  Saartjes Booties (free pattern is a PDF on the right side)  &   Lavish Booties (you will need to be registered to Lion Brand Yarn to open it).