Category Archives: Monica

Taking the Plunge

steeeeeek!

steeeeeek!

Monica: That is a picture of a sweater I started a few weeks ago. I’ve had the yarn and pattern in my stash forever and I decided I didn’t want to avoid it any more. The pattern is an old Dale of Norway one that is probably going to be celebrating it’s tenth birthday soon. I just looked on Ravelry for a release date and couldn’t find one but I noticed it’s number 2 in my queue.

The reason I’ve been avoiding it is because of the scary steeking that I will have to do on the sweater. One of my friends at work is working on a Lopi sweater that involves steeking so she unintentionally pushed me into finally working on my project. It’s not a quick project. I already ripped 6 inches because I didn’t read the instructions. But I do like fair isle knitting so I didn’t mind too much.

A Gift for My Neighbor

Monica: I’ve been lucky to live near some nice people who are friendly and generous. It’s always nice to know that if I have an emergency I can count on them for help. This summer when I mentioned that I was going to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool festival my neighbor joked that she wanted me to bring her a sheep back. So I did. Except it took me a while to get her over to them since I had to make her.

naked sue

Pattern: Sue the Ewe by Rita O’Connell
Yarn: Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill kit

I really enjoyed knitting her. She was easier than Sam the Ram. I did a lot of 3-needle bind off when I could but there was some kitchener grafting with the 4 legs.

with shawl

The pattern came with a shawl which was a surprisingly intricate lace pattern. It actually took me a while to knit the small shawl.

sweater weather

That last picture is for Lynette. I found an article in my Elle magazine called “Sweater Weather” — a topic of great interest to Sue.

Finished!!

Monica: I didn’t think I would do it but I managed to finish my NaKniSweMo project with one day left to spare.

Sous sous

Lucky for me I had several days off work due to the Thanksgiving holiday so I could knit as much as I want. I wove in all the ends yesterday and texted a similarly awful picture to Lynette.

Stanley cup!!

I was still wearing my pajamas when I took the picture. Classy!

This sweater was easy to knit and the yarn I used, Wollmeise DK, had lovely stitch definition. I love how comfy this sweater is and versatile enough to dress up or down.

After I finish posting this sweater I’m going to finish up a hat and start on some baby sweaters.

It’s Day 5

Monica: and I still have not cast on for my NaKniSweMo. I am the worst participant ever. However I started a hat to match the sweater.

liesl beret

(It really is a hat although it looks like a plate.)

Probably part of the reason why I am lacking in NaKniSweMo progress is because I spend a lot of time online. I spent a lot of time laughing at this and this. I am easily distracted.

Happy Days

100-happy-days

Monica: I signed up for 100 Happy Days last week. The goal is to take a picture of something that made you happy for 100 days. Like everyone else I suffer from a lot stress and I tend to get bogged down by that. My goal with this challenge is to find moments throughout the day where I feel happy and document that by posting a picture on instagram. I thought it would be a fun blog activity for the 3 of us to do this month. So here’s the start of my 100 Happy Days.

It’s always a happy sight to have Buddy greeting me when I come home.

I was lucky enough to have a friend share her mom’s pool with me.

We have an apricot tree in our back yard and it has the sweetest fruit. We have to fight with the birds for the ripe ones but there’s usually enough to share.

I was on vacation when it started so I had many happy moments. Now that I’m back to work it will be challenging to find some but I’m sure I can. Especially when doughnuts and knitting are involved.

Warm Weather

Monica: Finally today it hit the 80’s. It was humid but I’ll take the sunshine. During lunch my knitting group walked over to a doughnut shop and got some ice cream sandwiches made with doughnuts.
ice cream sandwich made with donuts

Hazelnut ice cream in between a powdered sugar doughnut. I did not have one but I heard it was excellent.

making the sandwich in the background

Instead I had one of those smaller chocolate glazed doughnuts filled with espresso cream. It was yummy of course.

We were very efficient in scarfing down the doughnuts and had plenty of time to sit outside and knit. We also got to see some bridges go up.

bridges up

So some ships could get to the lake.

fancy boats crossing

It was nice to spend some time outside. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it more often this summer.

It Snowed Yesterday

Monica: I would like to pretend that it was a dream. Mother Nature has been very tough on us this spring. We have been able to take Zoey out a few times when the weather has been tolerable. I’ve been able to take some pictures of Spring. It’s coming soon I hope.

purple lilacs

We have these beautiful lilacs that bloom around Mother’s Day which is mid-May. Charlie used to drive to his high school and pick a big bunch to give to his mother because those were her favorite flowers. They have a very intoxicating fragrance.

white lilacs

They also come in white.

magnolia tree
Before it snowed and rained and was really windy we had beautiful magnolia trees.

crabapple tree

and crabapple trees. Now the ground is littered with petals that blew off the trees and are stuck because of the rain.
fungi on a tree trunk

These mushrooms were growing on the trunk of a big tree. Maybe as a result of all of the rain we’ve had.

I hope we are done with snow for a while!

A Little Story about Knitting and How It Brings People Together

Monica: When I sort-of moved back to Chicago I moved in with my Mom and sister. They have lived in the same townhouse for over 20 years and they have had a variety of neighbors. This particular set of neighbors on either side have been great. When we see each other we wave and then we all proceed directly to our houses. One day our land line phone wasn’t working and I remembered that our phone line is in the same location as one of the neighbors’ line. So I had to actually talk to one of the neighbors to get her permission to check out our phone line. After that we’d chat for a little bit instead of just waving. Her husband continued to stare at us and not respond when we said hello.  Three years ago they had a baby boy in October. I decided I wanted to give them something and quickly whipped up a pumpkin hat for the baby.  I tried to drop the hat off personally but every time I rang the doorbell when I knew they were home they didn’t answer the door–typical neighbor behavior. I wouldn’t answer either unless I was expecting someone. Finally after a few weeks of trying to give them the hat I left it on their garage door. That same night the neighbor came over with the baby wearing the hat. I wasn’t home unfortunately but they left me a nice thank you note and my sister got to see the adorable baby wearing the hat. Ever since then we chat all the time and the husband is really nice. So three years later they are expecting their second baby boy and since it’s close to Easter I decided to make them a bunny hat.

DSC02221

Pattern: Bunny Hat by Delia Hamlin

I know it looks questionable but once it’s on the baby’s head it will look like a bunny hat. Really. Without knitting I would not have gotten to know my nice neighbors.

The End.

 

 

 

 

Not a Giraffe Cowl

Monica: My Ravellenics project is growing as I’ve been steadily working on it. I really didn’t think I’d finish it on time especially as I read Dee’s post that the Olympics would be ending today. Luckily for me the closing ceremonies are on Sunday so I have a chance to finish it.  Here is how it looks as of this morning.

20140221_073557

The other day while I was knitting with my knitting group one of my friends had a puzzled look on her face while looking at the cowl. Then she asked me if I was knitting an infinity scarf and her puzzled look went away. You start with a provisional cast on and knit in the round and then you graft the 2 ends together when you are done. So you end up with a long tube. It is pretty narrow and before she figured out that it was an infinity scarf she was trying to figure out how it could possibly fit over my head. So we started joking about how this would make a great cowl for a giraffe. I couldn’t find a giraffe to model the cowl but I got it over my leg.

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and then one of my friends sent me this.

giraffe_cowl

It would be a great cowl for a giraffe!

Ravellenics Project

Monica: I had a hard time deciding what project I wanted to work on for the Ravellenics. I thought I would be able to finish a sweater forgetting that the games only last 2 weeks. So I looked through my considerable queue and finally decided on the Camptown Races cowl. I was lucky enough to receive the yarn and pattern for my birthday a few years ago and I decided it was time to knit it up.

I am using Plucky Knitter Plucky Sport yarn in these lovely colors.cowl yarn

I didn’t get to cast on until way after the opening ceremonies had started because I was at work and I can’t knit while working. Sad face, I know.

20140211_141416

That is what I have so far. I’m not able to work on it as much as I thought I could so I’m glad I only chose one project for the event. Hopefully I’ll make a little more progress on it this week.