Knitting Projects

                       The Feeling of Accomplishment That Comes at the End of a Project...

Don't you just LOVE the feeling that comes as you complete a lengthy (or any...) project at all?  First, there is the "vision".  Then, the "preparation".  And finally, you delve into the project and there may be bumps and snags along the way, but when it is completed and you stand back and admire what your hard work has rewarded you with, there is no other feeling like it!

As most of you may already know, knitting is one of my "Favorite Things".  I research, gather supplies and then jump into projects, some which can be very drawn out.  The project I just completed (at 11 p.m. last night...) was one of those very projects.  You see, I saw the pattern in the 2008 Holiday issue of Vogue Knitting Magazine.  I TOLD you I often times DRAAWW a project out.  Well, that is because of several reasons, that I am currently attempting to avoid.  I see other projects, get distracted, start on them...and THEN come back to the lengthy project that is still waiting for me.  Oh well...I suppose that is one of the things I love about knitting; it cannot be hurried and it is always there waiting for you when you have time for it.  However, since I decided to quit getting side-tracked by the attractiveness of other projects, I set my mind to finishing this project.

                                            Vogue Knitting Magazine/2008 Holiday Issue

Now, it wasn't as if I had the option NOT to finish the project; it was both a BEAUTIFUL and COSTLY one.  I had ordered the exact yarn that was shown in the magazine; a wonderful golden, beaded yarn and another skein that was not beaded for the fringe.  OH...I haven't told you what the project was yet; an over sized lacy stole.

The "Lacy Stole"...

My "Inspiration"

Although the fall and winter found me very busy, with baby-sitting Parker Ann (she doesn't allow knitting on her clock...), planning holiday festivities and then the added tasks involved with Caitlin's wedding planning, I still tried to find time each night to sit down and add a few inches to my project.  Robby watched from his recliner and commented that I had been working on it for YEARS (which technically I had...on and off) and he doubted that I would ever complete it.  I continued to knit.

The stole pattern instructions said that it should measure 72 inches long, so every couple of days, I would get my tape measure out to see how many inches I had left.  Over the weekend, I did just that to find that it actually measured a little longer;  YIPPEE!!!  I had done it...the end was in sight!

As I sat down last night and began to bind the edge off of my knitting needles, I toyed with the idea of just setting it aside for the night and adding the fringe the next day...then I decided NOT to let my procrastination take over.  I knew it was getting late, but I really wasn't tired.  I got out the wrinkled instructions, cut my fringe and began to attach it to my stole.  The closer I got to the end, the more excited I became!  There was NO WAY I was going to bed before this thing was done and I could wrap it around my shoulders.

When I had put the last bit of fringe on, I picked my new stole up gently and walked to the mirror.  I wrapped it around my shoulders and neck and admired the way it fell across my back.  I LOVED this stole and thought about the many times in the beginning that I had torn stitches out and started over again.  It was SO worth finishing this project.  My mind raced at the possibilities it had; to be worn with jeans or dresses or the long, flirty skirt.  Even the realization that this is exactly how heirlooms are created.  One day this stole would hopefully be passed down to my daughter and grand daughters.  As I carefully took it from around my shoulders and folded it up for the night, I smiled.  I was happy with this new creation.  Then just before I headed off to bed, I opened a new knitting book I had just bought to a pattern I would start next...

My completed "Lacy Stole"

I can't wait to put this on and wear it out!

Here are a few of my "Favorite" knitting things..
1.  www.gotyarn.com  She has GREAT sales!
2.  Vogue Knitting Magazine  It has patterns for LOTS of beautiful projects
3.  Knit Simple Magazine  It also has lots of knitting projects
4.  www.knittinghelp.com  This is a wonderful site for knitters of all levels that even has
instructional videos.

***I just subscribed to the new Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine, but have not received it yet; it should be GREAT!***
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Knit, Knit and Knit Some MORE!

Lately I have been knitting like a mad woman.  Somehow I got hooked on making hats and I just cannot get enough!  When I was in Ohio visiting Caitlin, we were both sitting there one evening, I was knitting and she was crocheting, when we began to toy with the idea of opening an Etsy shop and selling our handmade items.  Once I got back home, we began to look at the idea more seriously and started tossing around possible catchy names for our shop.  We knew we wanted something that was either about a sheep or yarn and something that basically showed how much we love making these homemade knitted and crocheted items.  Finally we came up with the "Perfect" name; itty knitty noggins!

Caitlin and I quickly finished up some projects and she created an Instagram account where we offered a "Sneak Peek" of some of the items we would be offering (@ittyknittynoggins).  Next, quite a bit of time was spent designing an Etsy web site, where all of our items for sale can be found.  And the banner at the top of the page has the cutest picture of a little sheep!  (Love those sheep...).  So, as of last Friday evening, we are "officially" OPEN FOR BUSINESS and ready to start clicking our needles together to bring our customers the cutest and finest quality knitted and crocheted items possible.  Currently, we are concentrating on children's items but I have been working on some adult hats and head pieces as well.  Check us out if you get a chance at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/ittyknittynoggins?ref=search_shop_redirect

Here are some of the pieces we have listed in the shop...
                       Here's the announcement Caitlin posted on Instagram the day we opened!
And, of course, two of our very own beautiful baby models, showing off their cute little hand-knitted hats.
We have headbands...


More hats...
And even some little shoes...
SO...Needless to say, we have been VERY BUSY clicking those needles of ours together.  Stop by and check out this new shop of ours if you have time.  We are adding new items weekly and are already working on some ADORABLE Christmas hats and headband!
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                                                        Counting Sheep in My Sleep

As you all most likely know by now, Grand Number 6 is on the way.  He is expected to arrive on October 29th.  If you followed me along the journey of Caitlin's pregnancy with Holli, you will remember how we had to make all sorts of cute stuff for the nursery and baby...including all of that handmade baby furniture her dad built?  Well, just to let you know...nothing has changed with this pregnancy.  Kevin has already painted the nursery and Caitlin has a theme (vintage toys) and now she has enlisted others to assist her with making Number 6's (I refer to him as this because no name has been decided on yet) arrival just as special.

My first duty was to produce some watercolor painting that can be hung in the nursery...

It had been a while since I water colored so I decided to fiddle around with watercolor pencils on these paintings.  There are still a few details left to do but otherwise they will be ready to travel with me to Ohio in September, be framed and placed on the nursery wall.

Now back to those sheep I've been counting in my sleep.  I pin a lot of things on Pinterest.  I mean a LOT.  One of them was this wonderful sheep blanket.  I realized that I had not ever attempted to do intarsia knitting (knitting a picture or design switching out colors).  I knew it most likely would not be simple, however, I did want to learn this technique one day.  I didn't realize that "one day" would be sooner than I had expected.  When Caitlin sent me the exact photo of that blanket to make for "Number 6"...

   Here is the photo of the blanket I pinned on Pinterest and MY blanket started in the blue yarn.
This is the yarn that Caitlin chose for the main color of the blanket.  She purchased this yarn at a shop in Ohio and mailed it to me.  Can I tell you that I just LOVE Malabrigo yarn?!
This is the yarn that the pattern suggested using for the sheep.  It is a fuzzy, textured yarn that I purchased at Michael's.
The pattern was not actually in the link that I pinned so I had to order the book from Amazon.  There are lots of other blanket patterns in this book that I will most likely use so the purchase was a good one.
Now the work began.  The border was no problem so I got it done pretty quickly.  However, for the intarsia knitting I not only had to watch an online video but also read the instructions that the book provided.
I learned a lot on this first row of sheep.  It was suggested that I make bobbins (separate threads rolled in a specific way so as to not cause tangling of the yarn), however, I decided to just let my yarn hang and did not have any trouble with tangling.  I also learned that the hanging yarn always needed to be on the wrong side of the piece and it is important to remember to wind your yarn around the new color when changing colors so everything will stay connected.  I'm giving you these tips because of my trial and error mistakes.  I had to rip out entire rows more than once...(sigh).
                                       Here I have my pieces of yarn cut and ready for use.
   OK, so I was SUPER PROUD of this first row of sheep!  And I LOVE the blue background yarn.
Needless to say, the second row went much faster and now I am about to start the third one.  I think I can have this blanket almost completed by the time we leave for vacation Friday!  All I will have to do is use a black yarn to make the faces and feet of the sheep and then back the entire blanket with a soft fabric to cover all of the cut yarn on the wrong side.

I always wanted to try intarsia knitting but was a little afraid of it.  Thanks to videos and additional instructions,  this project has actually been fun.  I'm not sure what's next for "Number 6" but I'm ready for the challenge after mastering this skill!
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                                                         The Making of Alice...

I realize that I haven't posted lately but I've been BUSY..Busy celebrating my birthday, traveling a bit... AND "Making Alice".  You see, Holli will be 3 on her birthday this year and she is absolutely in LOVE with Alice in Wonderland.  She watches the movie, I found a vintage Alice in Wonderland  Little Golden Book at my mother's house for her AND...this year the theme of her birthday party will be Alice!  Well, I began looking for a cute, soft Alice doll for her but could not find one...not even at Disney World or Epcot.  SO...I decided instead to look for a knitting pattern of Alice and found it!  I was super excited to start a new knitting project (as I always am...) and I had never knitted a doll before so here I went...Off to make Alice!

 Although the pattern called for knitting and putting Alice together along the way, I chose instead to knit all of the pieces and then go back and put her together.
                                     Everything had to be made separately...EVERYTHING.

                               Of course, the entire doll had to be stuffed...Piece by piece.

                 The clothes had to be sewn like any other pattern; seamed and hemmed, etc.



I made her clothes where they could be taken off because I'm thinking of making another dress for her because you know how little girls love to dress their dolls up!
Here is how Alice sits upon my kitchen counter right now.  All she lacks is a mouth, and a ribbon for her hair!

I wondered at times if I would have Alice finished in time for Holli's birthday party, which we will be celebrating a little early this year.  Especially since I took an entire week off to travel and celebrate my birthday.  But as you can see, she will be finished in time for Easter weekend!  How long did it take?  Well...not working every day and sort of on and off it took about 3 weeks.  I love the way she turned out and can only hope that Holli loves her too.  And when she gets older and outgrows Alice, I hope that she will put her away in a safe place for her own little girl to enjoy someday.  And remember that her YaYa made this gift especially for her with love.
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                                        What's On the Knitting Needles These Days?

As many of you know, I am an avid knitter.  Some of the projects I have completed can be found here on the blog and I'm actually moving those over to the "Knitting Projects" section soon.  I'm usually knitting for someone else, but occasionally I will knit something for myself.  In May, when my Summer 2016 issue of Knitscene came in the mail, I browsed through it and came upon a pattern that I just had to make for myself!

I simply fell in love with this airy, warm weather sweater!  It is made in such a way that it can be worn most of the year here in Louisiana but definitely in the spring and summer most other areas of the country with milder temperatures.  I could envision it being worn with white jeans or shorts or even a maxi skirt.  I browsed the pattern and thought...WHY NOT?!
I started knitting this sweater in May and finished it in about one month's time.  I even ordered the exact yarn that was pictured in the magazine (Fibre Natura Denims, #106 Indigo Dye).
I followed every step of the directions carefully, especially the blocking stage; which is not my favorite part but a very important step if you want your garment to fit properly.  As you can see, I just used towels to do my blocking.  I wet each piece of the garment (front, back and sleeves) and then stretched them to the measurements that were indicated for my size.  I pinned them there and then left them to dry for a couple of days.  Whenever I removed them, I sewed each part together, starting with the shoulders.  I then added the shoulder seams of the sleeves and then stitched the side seams to the end of the sleeves.  The last step was to edge the neckline and then I was finished!
                             Here's my new summer sweater that I cannot wait to start wearing!




















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