knitted cowl · Knitting · yarn

First Finish of 2023


Hello my blogging friends. The sun is shining here in Michigan and the temperatures have been above normal this winter. I am not complaining at all. The days have been gray, so it is nice seeing the sun the last couple of days.

I have finished my first project of 2023 and I absolutely love it! If you remember, I started this knitting project in November and hit a bump in the road and couldn’t get past the first couple of rows. I then went to my LNS where the knit expert there figured out my issue in no time. I wasn’t able to spend time really getting it going until December 1.

I finished knitting the length and then I put the stitches onto waste yarn and put it on the blocking mats.

I really love this photo. It shows the wave pattern so beautifully. After it dried, I pulled it off of the blocking mats and put the working stitches onto a straight needle. Then I had to carefully put the stitches from the provisional cast on, back onto another straight needle. If anyone has an easy way to undo the provisional cast on to get those stitches back onto a needle, I would love to hear about it. I have only done a provisional cast on one other time, and it was a bit difficult to get those stitches out then also. I think that is the hardest part of this pattern, LOL.

On to the 3 needle bind off. I have only bound off a project like this one other time. It was for the Market Bag I made. It is not a hard bind off, but a little tricky deciding which needle to use to bind off the stitch. I used the back needle. But it was easy to get into a rhythm and went rather quickly. I then wove in the 2 threads and it was finished.

I LOVE how this turned out. If I were to make it again, I would make it a bit longer as the I-cord edges are not very stretchy so I have to remember to take off my glasses before putting it over my head. I was nearing the end of the skein and didn’t think I had enough yarn to do another 7 rows of the pattern. But all in all, this was a wonderful pattern with so many elements involved. (1) The I-cord edges – makes for a very beautiful finish on the edges. This was knitted sideways, so the I-cord was created at the beginning and the end of the rows. (2) The Provisional Cast On – This was done so that the stitches can be put on a needle for binding off. (3) Putting working stitches on a waste yarn to be able to block the project before finishing. (4) 3 Needle Bind Off – A great way to seam the 2 edges together stitch for stitch.

I totally enjoyed knitting this cowl. The wave pattern is just beautiful and is quite visible even with the variegated yarn I used. I bet it would be gorgeous in a solid yarn, too. The details…The pattern is the Marina Cowl by Juliana Lustenader and is available on Ravelry. The yarn I used is Cozy Worsted by Speckled Finch Studios in color From the Deep.

I have already worn this cowl several times and it is so soft on my neck and keeps me warm. It has been the neck accessory I have been reaching for since finishing it. I may have to have a few more in different colors 😉

So that is my first finish of 2023. Hopefully I will have many more finishes to come this year. My craft room has been taking up a lot of my time this month. I have been replacing, rearranging, purging, and moving things around. That is for another post. What have you been up to this month?

Happy Stitching!

Ginny

cross stitch · Fabric · Fox and Rabbit · Hand Dyed Fabrics · knitted cowl · Knitting · yarn

Happy New Year!


Hello my blogging friends! Happy 2023! I hope that your 2023 is filled with Love, Health and Happiness. The last few years I have chosen a word that describes what I want for the new year and this year I have landed on Determined. I am determined to finish things, determined to use things up, determined to be more patient, determined to cook more, get upset less and determined to be a better person. This last year I have been so overwhelmed with “stuff” so my biggest thing is to use up what I have, like yarn and cross stitch and scrapbook products. And to get rid of what “no longer gives me joy”. It will be a long process, but a process that I am determined to work on this year. I only finished 2 cross stitch projects this year, and both were early in 2022. I did not finish the 2022 MSAL from Fox and Rabbit. The December section is quite large. I am almost finished 1/4 of the section and the 2023 MSAL came out yesterday and I think I want to stitch that one, too. But not until I finish the 2022 one. Here is where I am with it.

I am almost finished the top of the border. I am stitching this one on 16ct Aida Winter Wishes from Fabrics By Stephanie. The threads are DMC 115 and 902 for backstiching. It seems like it has been very slow going, but I didn’t get to work on it much in December because I did do a lot of knitting.

I made lots of Fingerless Mitts for family and a few scarves which I didn’t get pictures of. The pattern for these mitts is a FREE pattern from Premier Yarns and is called Sideways Wrist Warmers. I loved making these for everyone in different bulky yarns. I added my new garment tags to each one, too.

I ordered these tags from The Beam City. They turned out so cute! I was so excited to see that they had a mermaid option. I will be putting these tags on all of my future knits 😉

Which brings us to what I am currently knitting on.

I pulled this one out of my stash in November and started it but couldn’t get past the first couple of rows. I was about to throw in the towel, but decided to go to my Local Yarn Shop and get some help. Cris figured out my mistake in no time. I had some purls and yarn overs which I know to go all the way around my needle for the YO, but I didn’t realize that I didn’t need to go around the needle the extra time when the next stitch is a knit stitch. With the repeats, that is where my extra 4 stitches were coming from. So I started over and have been fine with it since. Didn’t get to work on it too much with making all of those mitts, but I have made progress.

It is the Marin Cowl by Juliana Lustenader (Knit by Jules).

Just look at that cute little mermaid! She is actually a charm that I purchased at our local Aquarium when I visited there in November. I thought she would be perfect for a progress marker. And she is definitely perfect for this project.

It is growing. Can you see all of the waves? The yarn is Cozy Worsted from Speckled Finch Studios in color “From The Deep”. The yarn is so soft and squishy and the colors so beachy!

So that is what I have been stitching on. I hope to get more stitching in this year and I am going to try harder to post here on my blog more often. One other thing I want to mention before I end this post is for my cross stitching friends. Have you heard of the Design and Fabric Viewer? Have you used it in the past? For those that have not heard about it, it is a website where you can match cross stitch patterns to fabrics to see how designs will look on different fabrics. Today a new version of the site was launched and it is now FREE to customers to use and you can store up to 100 of your favorite selections. You do have to create an account so that your favorites can be saved. If you have not used this site before, you need to check it out. And for those that have, go check out the new version. I have firsthand knowledge of the work that has gone into developing this new version and it is awesome. I didn’t get paid for this review, but I do know the master behind the screen, LOL. Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think. You can also join the private group on facebook to see updates and leave comments there.

Again, I wish you a Wonderful, Happy, Healthy, full of Love 2023 and I hope all of your dreams come true.

So that is what I have been up to. What are your goals for the New Year?

Happy Stitching!

Ginny

Knitted Sweater · Knitting · New stash! · yarn

Planning A Project


Hello blogging friends! I currently have nothing on my knitting needles, other than my travel project. But it isn’t for lack of trying. I visited my Local Yarn Shop during their Shop Hop a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with a pattern the gals there were talking about. One of the gals that works at the shop was wearing the sweater, the gal who was having a trunk show with her amazing yarns was knitting the sweater. And one of the other gals that works there and myself were busy trying to find the perfect yarns to make the perfect fade for the sweater. We decided on pinks and mostly Adelaide Fiber Yarns. This is what we came up with and what I went home with.

This is the pattern.

I am planning on adding to the bottom of this one to make it longer. Maybe an additional 4 stripes. I love the soft, elegant, cozy look of this sweater. I am not sure how I will like the sagging arm pits, but I think it will be a nice loungy sweater for at home.

I love all of these colors and was anxious to get started on a swatch to see how all of the yarns would knit up together.

Lots of yarn winding going on here. In fact, my bum shoulder was hurting for a couple of days. So much so, that later when I added a 600 yard skein to the line-up, hubby had to wind it for me ❤

Yep, that’s him. He did a great job, too. This yarn cake will be added to the line later.

This is what I caked. These colors make me so happy! They pretty much match my flower arrangement.

Something still didn’t seem right with the fade. So I added a skein of Antique Lace from The Wicked Knittah.

The fade still does not seem to be flowing. I was having such difficulty coming up with the colors that would show the fade that I had in my head.

I was taking skeins out, adding skeins in, winding more skeins, going through my stash trying to find the perfect colors. By this point I was getting pretty frustrated. But I think I finally found my fade! These are the colors that I ended up with.

So I started knitting my swatch to see how the colors would knit up next to each other. The pink mohair yarn in color “A Mother’s Love” by Adelaide Fibers will be the lace stripes in between each of the color stripes. I had started knitting with the color for the bottom. I had knitted 2 stripes of that color when I first thought I was going to repeat 2 of the colors.

So the purplish color will be the bottom color. The next different colored stripe will be moved up and the color at the top will be moved down to the second color. The light pink will be used for the neck edge and sleeves. I pretty much get gauge with my stockinette stitch as knitted. Even though the pattern calls for gauge after blocking. I still don’t quite understand that as I have no idea how to block a swatch. Do I pull and stretch a little? A lot? Not at all? Will the yarn keep it’s shape after wetting? Thankfully, I don’t think this pattern will matter too much if I get gauge or am close. I will have plenty of yarn, so I won’t need to worry about that.

So this will be my color line-up…I think…I’m pretty sure.

Now I just have to figure out which size I want to do. Not sure when I will be starting this. I am planning on knitting this as a KAL with Kristine and she is waiting for the light pink to be dyed by the dyer. I think this was the most intense project I have planned for yet. Have you had a project that just seemed to take forever to plan out?

Happy Stitching!

Ginny

cross stitch · Fox and Rabbit · Hand Dyed Fabrics · mystery sampler

Fox And Rabbit MSAL


Hello my blogging friends! It is snowing where I am, so I have now had to accept that Winter is definitely here, even though the calendar says it is Fall. It is beautiful, looking out from my craft room window. And I am happy that I don’t have anywhere to go. I am also thankful not to be on the west side of my state or in Buffalo, New York right now. I think that is where they are getting blasted with a lot of snow and snow so hard that visibility is almost nil.

So I wanted to talk a little about the Fox & Rabbit Mystery Stitch A Long. First I have to say that this company is so awesome. They have been giving us FREE Mystery SAL’s for the last 6 years! The first one was in 2017 and that was my very first sampler that I ever stitched. I loved every minute of that stitch. It hangs in my craft room so I can see it whenever I am in my happy place 🙂

The Samplers from 2017-2021 are available for purchase on the Fox & Rabbit website. The current 2022 MSAL is available for FREE at least until the end of the year. So if you are interested in stitching the 2022 sampler, you can still download all of the sections through November for FREE and the December section will be available December 1. With these samplers, you choose the fabric and the threads you want to stitch with. It can be whatever you want it to be. I have stitched all but 2 of the samplers and they are well written and so beautiful. You can join their facebook group and see all of the beautiful fabrics and threads chosen by so many people from around the world. I can’t say enough how thankful I am for this company and their generosity with their beautiful designs.

As you know, I have been stitching on the 2022 MSAL even though I procrastinated when it first came out in January. I am so happy that I decided to add this project to my list this year and am over the moon happy that I was able to get it all caught up a couple of months ago. Which brings me to where I am now with the project.

This section was actually stitched sideways on my scroll frame and I was worried that my DMC variegated floss would not look nice, but I love the way it turned out. I did manipulate the colors where I wanted, like in the vase. I purposely made the vase and leaves darker, with the thought that I wanted the flower more red.

This is my finished piece so far. It is a very large piece, too. And I am so happy with how it has turned out. So now I wait to see what December will bring to finish off this gorgeous design. Many thanks again to Brendan at Fox & Rabbit for this beautiful and generous design. For the details; the fabric is 16ct Aida Winter Wishes from Fabrics By Stephanie. The floss is DMC 115 for most of the project with DMC 902 for backstitching the letters.

So that is what I have been up to. For now I will leave you with a picture of the view out my craft room window and wonder what are you stitching on?

Happy Stitching!

Ginny

Diamond Dotz · Diamond Painting

Sparkly Diamond Dotz


Hello blogging friends! I have finally finished a Diamond Dotz project that I purchased back in 2019 and started in 2020. I finally pulled her out and started working on her again.

She is the Dragon Princess. I was supposed to have her finished by the time we finished remodeling the basement back in 2019, but that didn’t happen. This time I was determined to finish her.

I love the bigger jewels on her hair and earring. So pretty.

She is so beautiful and sparkly and finally finished.

I don’t know why I waited so long to finish her. I will admit I kept thinking “I will finish her today”. After several hours each day for about 5 days, I finally did finish her. Now to save up to get her framed and hung in her selected space in the basement. I love Diamond Dotz or Diamond painting. It is so relaxing. I have a few more smaller ones in my stash. I wonder which one I will do next…Have you tried Diamond Painting or Diamond Dotz? What do you think about it?

Happy Crafting.

Ginny

cross stitch · Fox and Rabbit · Hand Dyed Fabrics · knitted hat · Knitting · mystery sampler

I Knitted A Hat!


Hello my blogging friends! Happy Veteran’s Day to all the Veteran’s out there and thank you so much for your service. I am grateful to all that served and to those that serve today.

So winter will be here soon. Probably much quicker than I want it to be. I have a lot of hat patterns in my Ravelry that I want to make and plenty of yarn, too. My stash is way out of control and I am starting to feel really guilty about it. So, I thought that making hats would be a great way to knock out some skeins. I purchased a kit from Speckled Finch Studios last year. Actually I bought several kits from her. I do love her yarns. Anyway, I pulled out a kit that contained a skein of Cozy Worsted in the color Sangria and The Dragon’s Gate Hat pattern by Gamer Babe Knits.

Casting this on was heavenly! The yarn is so soft, squishy and bouncy.

I can’t tell you the last time I knitted some ribbing. It was actually relaxing and rhythmic.

The chain link looking cable is so easy. I didn’t even have to use a cable. Just slipped the stitches off and let them hang out there. The yarn just stayed in place. You can’t really see much of the cable here, but it is there. Blocking will definitely help open those stitches.

Then it was time for the dreaded Double Pointed needles. I must say that I really didn’t mind them so much for this pattern. The thing that throws me off is when there is a pattern to knit and some stitches are on one needles and the rest of the pattern is on the next needle. But I am getting better at knitting with the Double Pointed Needles. I’m still not a fan of them, but they are needed sometimes. Like the crown of a hat.

And in just a few days of knitting off and on, I have a finished hat. Complete with a really cute tie in Pom that also came with the kit. I was confused as to which size hat to knit from this pattern and chose the size 4, which the designer also knit for the photo. I think my hat is a little smaller than I wanted. It is supposed to be an adult sized hat. I did have quite a bit of yarn left over, so next time I will go up a couple of sizes. My chain link cable stitches are not very noticeable, so I will block it a bit in order to open up those stitches. But all in all, it is a cute hat and I would definitely make it again. The pattern is really easy to knit and easy to remember as you knit along. It is available on Ravelry, too.

Now for my cross stitch followers…I promise you that I have been cross stitching, too. I was working on Rosamund for a little bit, then switched to the Fox & Rabbit MSAL 2022. I am so proud of myself for getting all caught up on this project after starting it so late. And those borders were so long! I just started working on the November section.

Sorry about the lighting on this one. I had trouble getting a good picture of it this morning. I am hoping to get this section finished before the December section comes out. I am assuming that there will be some kind of design around the border, and that will take some time. This piece is quite large, so adding stitching around the border will not be a quick section I am guessing. I am using DMC 115 with a darker solid color (DMC 902 I think) for outlining the lettering. The fabric is 16ct Aida Winter Wishes from Fabrics By Stephanie

That is what has been on my knitting needles and my sewing needle so far 😉 I have visions of starting new projects!! What is on your needles?

Happy Stitching!

Ginny

knitted scarves · Knitting · yarn

My Travel Knitting Project


Hello Blogging friends! I always like to have a knitting project ready for traveling. Something that is nice and easy and relaxing. Usually something that doesn’t need a pattern or one that the pattern is easily remembered. A few months ago @clevergirldesignsco posted a picture of a beautiful scarf she had knit. Of course I had to run off to my local Knit shop to see it in person. It was quite beautiful, in red and with a mohair yarn. After finding out all of the details I decided I just had to make one.

The pattern is The Alexander Airplane scarf by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. The yarn that I am using is Aerial Color from Berroco. This is a very fine mohair yarn knitted on size 8 circular needle. It is knit in the round and when finished the tube is laid flat and the edges are pressed or steamed so that the scarf ends up being 2 layers. Because the yarn is so thin, it isn’t bulky but will be warm and cuddly.

As you can see in the photos, this yarn is a striping yarn. The color is 34101, Pisarro. I didn’t want a striping yarn when I decided to do this project and didn’t even know that this yarn would stripe. But I rather like the colors and how they are knitting up. This is straight knitting, so it is the perfect travel project. Whenever I leave the house, I just grab my knitting bag and will be all set to knit if I have to do any waiting or want to knit in the car. It’s easy to pick up and put down, so it makes for the perfect on the go project.

I have only been knitting on this when I travel. Mostly to take my mind off of being in a car on the highway. But sometimes I don’t even pick it up, as I get too involved in what is going on around me on the road. But I have knitted on it when waiting for Mom at her doctor appointments. It is always good to have it with me for when I do decide to pick it up. Maybe I will finish it this winter…or maybe for next winter. Either way, it is the perfect travel project.

It is getting longer, so that makes me happy. Yeah, you can definitely see where my join in the round is. I definitely have to work on that, LOL Do you like to have a travel project? What kinds of things do you work on when traveling?

Happy Stitching,

Ginny

knitted scarves · yarn

What I Have Been Knitting


Hello blogging friends! You know, I blinked and it was November! Well, I didn’t really blink because I did enjoy all of the glorious colored leaves that Mother Nature gave this year. The colors were so bright and vivid this year. As I look out my craft room window, most of the trees are now bare and looking very winter like. The sun is shining and it is a wonderful 63 degrees out, so I am not even thinking about winter being just around the corner.

So, what has been on my needles, you ask? Well, back in September when my Mother-in-law was visiting, we took a trip to a yarn shop and found some beautiful Noro yarns. Now I have never knit with Noro before, and I can honestly say that several years ago when seeing some of the Noro dinosaur eggs, I couldn’t figure out what all the hype was about them. The yarn seemed to look rough

and didn’t feel the softest to the touch. I didn’t want to knit with it. I have since learned that the yarns do soften up as you knit with them and the colors are quite beautiful. So, I decided to take the leap and try my first Noro yarn.

The yarn is Noro’s Tsubame. This is a 200 gram skein, ball, or egg, whatever you want to call it. There are 656 yards, so a lot of yarn here. The pattern I decided to use is the Eyelet Scarf which was featured in a Noro magazine, but is also available on Ravelry.

A very easy pattern that is easily remembered after a few pattern repeats.

The color changes are quite beautiful and really flow nicely into the next. The yarn does soften up as I knit with it. This yarn is 50% silk, 25% wool and 25% nylon. So the silk really does make this knit up really nice.

I knitted this scarf according to the pattern, creating 38 repeats and then adding the seed stitch to the bottom and then bound off the stitches.

The finished length was supposed to be 67″, but when I finished, it was only 42″ and I didn’t think I would get the correct length when blocking, without distorting the eyelets. I undid the bind off and ripped back to the eyelet pattern and continued with the pattern until I was close to finishing the skein, doing 52 repeats and then adding the seed stitch section and then binding off.

I was able to block it out to 73″ which is a much better length. This way I can fold the scarf in half and push the ends through the loop and have a good amount of the ends hang down. If I were to make this scarf again, I would definitely only cast on 37 stitches instead of 57. It is quite wide at 13″. I would prefer a narrow scarf. But it turned out nice and is nice and soft and hangs nicely.

So that is one of the knit projects that I have finished lately. What have you been creating?

Happy Stitching!

Ginny

Crochet · cross stitch · Fox and Rabbit

A Crochet Finish and A Cross Stitch Catch Up


Happy October! The last 2 months have almost been a blur. I had company here until yesterday and spent time prepping for that visit. It was a wonderful visit with my Mother-in-law, but as always, way too short. I still spent a good amount of time knitting, crocheting and cross stitching. My MIL loves those things, too, so we made sure to have our crafty time together.

So where did I last leave off…Oh yeah. I was trying to finish up unfinished projects. After I finished my Windsor Mitts I pulled out my Nature’s Walk Blanket crochet blocks.

crocheting blocks together

I started this blanket about 3 years ago. It is the Nature’s Walk Blanket by Sandra Paul. I had never crocheted blocks before and I remember how thrilled I was when I completed my first block. So I continued on and crocheted 48 blocks in 6 different designs. The instructions are very well written with very helpful images. After finishing the blocks, I think I was a bit intimidated by not knowing if I could actually stitch the blocks together or crochet the border. So I set it aside. I am sure some other projects were calling my name, too. After reading through the directions, I jumped right in.

I was actually crocheting the blocks together and it was quite easy. Again, the instructions were well written and very helpful.

The border

After all of the blocks were crocheted together, I began the border. I was so nervous, but I pressed on. The first couple of rows went well. Then the pattern switched to creating a pattern in the border.

Hearts in the border

The pattern was creating open holes in the shape of hearts. And I was doing well. My holes were lining up the way they were supposed to, and I was elated!

Border corner

My corners were looking pretty good. All the holes were lining up and I was nearing a finish!

Not quite right

I thought I had finished until I laid it out and noticed that I missed a peak near the top in the photo. I couldn’t have that, so I ripped out the last row and a half.

Frogged part of the border
A finish!

So I have a finish! I am so proud of myself for what I have done on this blanket and for finishing it. It really turned out so beautifully and I think Barb, the woman who taught me to crochet when I was 11 years old, would also be proud of me. I am even thinking about making another one of these blankets in the near future.

Now for my cross stitch update on the Fox & Rabbit 2022 MSAL. When I last posted about this one, it looked like this:

Since then, I have added the August section, September section and I finished both borders on September 30, the day before the October section was to come out.

2022 MSAL

And here is the October section completed, so now I am completely caught up with this one.

October section

I will share what is on my knitting needles next time. What have you been working on? I’d love to hear about it.

Ginny

Bella Fillapina Designs · Cross Stitch Patterns · Fabric · Fox and Rabbit · Hand Dyed Fabrics · Knitting · mystery sampler · yarn

A Knit Finish and Cross Stitch Progress


Hello my blogging friends! We are expecting severe storms where I am, so I am hoping to get this post in before the storms come. Though it is getting pretty dark out right now.

So, when I finished knitting the last baby blanket, I decided that I wanted to finish the last 2 projects that have been in my WIP pile for the last couple of years. First up is Windsor Mitts. I started the first mitt in November of 2020 and I don’t think that I posted about them. So here is my start from almost 2 years ago.

Windsor Mitts start

A friend gave me this set of teeny tiny circular needles to try and I happened upon the Windsor Mitt’s pattern and it just happened to need this size 2 needle. I was not sure about knitting with this tiny circular, but it turned out that I loved it! So much better than Double Pointed Needles, which you know I hate.

Mitt progress

I was knitting right along with the tiny needles and loved how the pattern was turning out. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca and it is so soft.

Looks like it fits!

I just couldn’t wait to try it on. So far so good! so that brings us to where the mitt was when I picked it up a couple of weeks ago. I still had the thumb to do. Ugh! Double pointed needles…

Double Pointed needles for the thumb

I only had to do about 9 rows, so it actually wasn’t so bad. I finished it and then cast on the 2nd mitt with the tiny circular needle.

Knitting in miniature
Finished Mitts

And I finished them! Another project out of my WIP pile and just one more crochet project to go 🙂

For cross stitching, well there are still quite a few projects in that pile. But I will share what I was stitching on in July. First here is the progress I made on Esmerelda.

Esmerelda

This is as far as I got on her before putting her away. She is from Bella Filipina Designs and I am stitching her on 16ct Aida Oberon from Fabrics by Stephanie.

And the last project I worked on is the 2022 MSAL from Fox and Rabbit.

And this is how it looked when I put it away to do some crocheting. I really love the colors I chose. I am usually not a fan of red, but this is regal! The fabric is 16ct Aida Winter Wishes from Fabrics by Stephanie and threads are DMC 115 with DMC 902 for outlining the letters.

2022 MSAL

I still have the inner border to finish and the outer border to do. And the August section just came out, so I will need to get busy on it soon. This design is FREE from Fox & Rabbit Designs. New sections come out on the 1st of the month through December.

It is storming now. Thankfully I took these photos this afternoon while the sun was still shining. I will end this post with a sweet photo I took this week of a beautiful little visitor. Until next time, happy stitching!

A Friendly visitor

Ginny