"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

1/30/09

You'll Have to Have This

I totally forgot to ask Sweet Hubby to put my pics on his laptop onto a CD for me. But you can see pics taken by my sisters-in-law. Some of them even have me in them.

Diane's Album

I'm in this pic, third from the right. The dark purple beached whale. I'm actually knitting the sock while chatting with SIL Sue and Sweet Hubby. There's nine Parks in that pic. We were chillin' in front of the house we rented.

Sue's Album

Sue took a lot of pictures. Most of them are pretty good too cos she has professional photography skills, and a brand new camera.

On Wednesday I went to the weekly CDA Yarnies meeting (a knitting group, meets 10am at CDA Yarn and Fiber) and acquired a couple new goodies while there.

First, this book by Terri Shea titled Selbuvotter, Biography of a Knitting Tradition.

It's great. It's about the history of the Norwegian Selbuvotter style of knitting. Lots of wonderful 2-color patterns for mittens and gloves.

I also bought one of the new square circular needles by Kollage yarns, in size 7, to try it out. I like the needle part itself. It's made of a nice brown coated aluminum. The square shape is definitely easier on the hand. The cable is extremely flexible. In fact, it's too soft. It has a tendency to bend and push through the stitches where it connects to the needle, making it difficult to push the stitches up on the needle to be worked.


It drove me crazy! I had to stop and very carefully push the stitches over the bend onto the needle every few seconds, which slowed me down considerably. I see the join breaking fairly soon because of the constant sharp bending at the join while this is going on. I'm very sad about that because I really really like the way the needles feel in my hands. It's back to good ol' dependable Addi Turbo for me. Still the best circular needles on the market.

On the way home I decided to drop in to Tuesday Morning, a discount store in Coeur d'Alene. To me, it's like popping into a garage sale. There's lots of junk, but every once in awhile I'll run across a treasure that must be brought home. I found one this time.


The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns is chock full of goodies, if you like stitch patterns. There's quite a few I've never seen before, and lots that would be great with socks.

And now, a WIP.


I'm making progress on the little baby sweater I'm making for Knitwits. It's been a fun portable knit for me.

Well, that's the news from Casa Parkarosa. I've got a blinding sinus headache now, so I think I'll go seek some painkillers. (I have caught a bug this week. Welcome home LJ!)

Have a good day.

1/29/09

I'm Back

Hi! We got back from Mexico on Sunday, but I've been pretty busy since then catching up after being gone for a couple weeks. This has been a difficult post to compose. There's so much I want to tell about the trip, but it would take practically a book of writing to tell you and I just don't have that kind of time, so I'm gonna have to leave out the details.

I had a fabulous time, except for the flight there, and the flight back. What a nightmare. When did airlines decide that passengers are just so many cattle and not humans? When did they decide service wasn't necessary any more? United managed to screw up everything that could be possibly screwed up on this trip. (My husbands running shoes were actually stolen from inside his suitcase when it was searched by security!) Arrrghhh.....Suffice it to say we had to spend not one, but TWO nights in Denver, Colorado, and I will NEVER fly on United Airlines again, ever-even if it means I have to walk and/or swim to my destination. We were lucky to get to Cancun, and back home for that matter.

The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The people are so friendly there, though they drive like psychotics (I swear-two lanes painted on the pavement, four cars abreast-yikes!), and the food! Oh, the food. I'll never be able to eat at Taco Bell again. Real Mexican food is awesome.

Living in a house with my hubby's siblings was a blast! They are a great bunch of people. Of course, it helped that it was a HUGE house. So big you could be wondering where everyone else was cos you found yourself alone, even though everyone was there in the house. It was also a beautiful house.

We had a fabulous trip and I hope to go there again. I was also going to post pictures, but I've just discovered that when I stuck my camera card in my husbands laptop to look at the pictures the other day, his Mac took the pictures off the card. It is blank. So I'm gonna have to get him to put them on a cd for me first.

I did get a small amount of knitting done on the trip. I've got about 1/4th of a sock done. I knitted it on the beach, or the lanai, depending, to the sound of the ocean and the birds. It was very relaxing. I took 2 sock projects with me. I had every intention of working on Bayersche. However, I had taken my skein of Malibrigo with the green/teal/turquoise colorway and when I saw the beautiful turquoise of the ocean and the green of the palm trees I just had to knit with it instead. So I started a new pair.


I'm making this pattern up myself.

I did a limited amount of shopping while in Mexico. I had some problems with the gimpy leg, so there were times when a bunch of us went shopping and I stayed at the house with my leg up.

In Tulum I found myself a new knitting a bag.

The flower embellishment is embroidered in bullion stitch.


One of the souvenir shops we went to had some beaded jewelry. I found it all very interesting. I even found something I wanted, this bracelet.


It's a peyote base with fringe all over it.


Tomorrow I hope to upload a few of the pics I took in Mexico.

Before we left on vacation I acquired myself a new teaching job. I will be teaching knitting at Coeur d'Alene Yarn and Fiber. My first class is scheduled for February 12th, 10:30 am. I will be teaching How to Knit Socks on 2 Circular Needles. Contact the store for more info and to register for the class.

I am also scheduled to teach a Peyote Amulet bag class at Bead It in Post Falls that starts on Saturday February 21, 10:30 am. Contact the store for info and registration.

Have a great day.

1/21/09

Checkin' In

I am completely in love with Tankah, Mexico, and the Tulumn area. I'm actually considering never going home. The weather has been perfect, food superb, house awesome, snorkeling incredible. Here's the view when I'm eating my breakfast on the lanai in the morning.



My bones are nicely thawed from the winter cold. I am having the best vacation ever in my life. Sweet Hubby's family is a blast to vacation with. They're playing Trivia Pursuit right now while I write this. I am going to knit on a sock now.

Have a good day.


1/13/09

WIP Wednesday 1/14/08 and Going Offline


Here's a WIP for this Wednesday. It's a baby sweater I have started for Knitwits. So far, I'm lovin' it. A nice brainless knit I can tote around with me.


I'm using a heathered purple and a funky peach for colors. Everywhere I go I'm being told by folks they love the colors. Cool!


Here's how the Kimono Jacket is going. The first piece is almost done.



Just 6 rows left, which I'd intended to do last night but I had an apple martini with dinner and it hit me so hard I fell asleep instead. Chenille seems to approve.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Now for some really awesome news. Just recently I found out Cookie A, of the Monkey Socks pattern fame, has been writing a book of sock patterns. I LOVE her sock patterns. I ADORE her sock patterns. I can't wait until the book is on the market. You can see a little peep of it here:


Cookie A's book


I've heard it's due for release in April? I so WANT this book!!!!!!!


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Now, for the big big news.


I will be offline for a couple weeks. Tomorrow morning we are leaving on a jet plane for Mexico! Gonna get OUT OF THE SNOW!


Actually, this trip has been planned for more than 5 months. A large portion (14 to be precise) of Sweet Hubby's family all went in together to rent a 6-bedroom mansion on it's own private beach for a week on the Yucatan Peninsula.


It comes with not only it's own private beach (with lounge chairs, hammocks, great snorkeling, kayaks, and palm trees), but it also has 2 swimming pools, a hot tub, a maid, and a cook.


Did I say it comes with a MAID and a COOK?


We got an Unbelievable deal on this place cos they were offering an awesome one, so it's even cheap. Heaven on earth, for cheap? And an opportunity to get the bones thawed in 80F degree weather, under palm trees? SOLD!!!!!


The only thing it's missing is a cute pool boy. All of us females going on the trip agree. It needs a cute pool boy-to bring us drinks and stuff. I tried to talk Sweet Hubby into this job, but he just wouldn't bite (said something about he'd rather be deep sea fishing..). My niece, Heidi, who is going with us, says one can be hired quite easily...so, we'll see what happens. Heh heh...


Now, rumor has it that this place also has a wireless connection to the internet. If it does, I will try, sort of, to pop in and post something because my husband's family can not go any where without their laptops (they have a serious addiction problem). But I'm not making any promises cos to be honest all I want to do is lay on the beach, knit, and drink tequila. My goal is to thaw the winter out of me. I'm leaving my laptop AND my cell phone home. I'm packing 3 swim suits. I will not be attainable. I am off the charts. I am on vacation!!!!


Take care while I'm gone.


Have a great 2 weeks.

1/11/09

Answer to Jaded's Question

Anonymous Jaded said...

"Wish i could knit... Despite having a very talented mom who knits and stitches and crochets and embroiders, all i have been able to do is complete a university degree.

Any suggestions on how i could actually start? :)"


Just DO IT!

Don't be afraid to do it. Take your time. It will feel really awkward at first, but after a bit of practice it will begin to feel natural. Knitting takes time and practice.

You can either go to your local yarn shop and ask for help, or get some size 8 needles, some worsted weight yarn (like Red Heart Supersaver, Caron Simply Soft, Lionbrand Wool Ease are all good candidates), and visit these web sites.

Learn to Knit

How to Knit, The Basics (Youtube video)

Knitting Help.Com

Learn to Knit at Lion Brand

Or, visit the local library for books on the subject, or go to a book store and purchase a basic book on how to knit. My personal favorites are:

How to Knit by Debbie Bliss

Knitting for Dummies

TNNA's How to Knit

But any How to Knit book will work.

Good first projects are:

Hat

Slippers


Scarf

Let me know how you're doing.

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Now, for some knitting news. I have not done much knitting this past week. A bit here, a bit there. On Friday I was sick all day with a monstrous sinus headache so I didn't do anything except take pain killers and watch tv.

I did a little on the Bayerische sock-I decided to do a third repeat. It's almost done.

I did a couple pattern repeats on my Kimono jacket.

I decided to make a baby jacket for my first Knitwits 2009 project. I started it at the meeting last Wednesday. I worked on it last night for a bit while at BIL Dan's house. (We got together to discuss our impending trip to Mexico.)

Mostly, I've been working on getting ready for our trip. Lots of things needed to be done in preparation for us being away. I will start the packing on Monday. The hardest thing for me right now is deciding which knitting projects to take with me. I am limited to one suitcase and one carry on for the whole trip, so I can't take a lot of yarn. I'm thinking the socks, and maybe the baby sweater, or my beehive shawl.

I'm not planning on knitting on the plane though. Don't want to take a chance on having my needles confiscated, so they will be in the checked bag. I have bought a new book to read on the plane, Thai Die by Monica Ferris.

Which reminds me, I called UPS about the terrible delivery job they did on Sweet Hubby's Christmas present. I called their 1-800 customer service number first and vented in the ear of a very patient and tolerant woman. She was as appalled as I was. She took my phone number, then had the local office call me so I could yell at them. I thought that was pretty funny. By the time he called, though, I'd cooled off, so he didn't get yelled at as much as I would have earlier. He promised to make sure it never happens again. A claim has been filed by Red Hill General Store for the loss, and they are going to send me a replacement jug. Unfortunately, the jugs are on back order until February. So it looks like instead of a Christmas present, it will be an anniversary present for Sweet Hubby.

I think I'll do a bit of knitting now.

Have a good day.

1/8/09

I Can't Believe This!

A rant. On 12/30 I told y'all about the Christmas present that hadn't come yet. UPS claimed they delivered it on the 24th, speculation was made that maybe it got buried in the snow on our front porch, but we hadn't seen hide nor hair of UPS or the package. Then I made a comment about "There is a little part of me that kind of hopes that come spring time we find a box buried."

Well, guess what? Tuesday night a Pineapple Express moved into our area. This is when the weather currents change and start sending warm wet air up from the area right about where Hawaii is. We get one every January, and it results in a big warm thaw. Yesterday it rained all day, and it was 48F degrees (it was wonderful!). A LOT of snow melted. Today we've had more of the same.

A little while ago my DD, Ruth, walked out to the mailbox to check for mail. She found a freshly unsnowed surprise. A soaking wet bright green box, in a plastic bag, hanging on a nail on the fence! Guess what's in it?


One severely damaged Christmas present for Sweet Hubby. He wanted a stoneware whiskey jug in the worst way. (Ruth says it's a jigsaw puzzle whiskey jug.)

Obviously the idiot working for UPS decided to be lazy and hung the package on the nail, then the snow plow whipped by and buried it.

WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!?!

He is NOT supposed to do that. In fact, we've had dozens of packages delivered here and they have always come down the driveway. Why he didn't do that this time, and deliver it to the door, is beyond me! Sweet Hubby plowed the driveway that day knowing I was waiting for a package to be delivered, so there was NO excuse for not bringing it to the door. I am filing a complaint! In fact, I've already talked to one UPS customer service rep.

Someone's head is gonna roll for this!

Have a nice evening.

1/5/09

Just Because You Can?

Every once in awhile I like to surf the web to look at knitted "art". When doing so I sometimes come across something that makes me think "Just because you can knit it doesn't mean you should". These fit the bill, although I admit they made me laugh too.


Well actually, I think this one is crocheted.



For more of Patricia Waller's interesting knitting and crochet, go here:


In the meantime, it's snowing today. You may be wondering why I have not been posting pictures of said snow on my blog. That's cos it all is pretty much looking the same as last years snow. Once you've seen one winter of snow, you've pretty much seen them all. So, if you wanna know what it looks like, go here. Yup! That's pretty much exactly like it looks now. (I believe in recycling to save our planet.)

Off to do some laundry now.

Have a nice day.

1/3/09

First Project for 2009

For 2009 I made a knitting resolution. This year I resolve to make a couple adult sized sweaters, and to knit things more challenging. Last year was the year of socks, due to the fact I joined 3, or was it 4, Sock KAL's. I managed to put a very tiny dent in my sock yarn stash, which has made me happy. Not to mention wonderful clothing for my feet. There was also the hats, scarves, fingerless gloves, and toys. All that is easy stuff to make, and I really enjoy it. Quick projects make for almost instant gratification when you're a knitter. However, my skills are way above what I've been making this past year. It's time to get back to knitting at my skill level.

I'll still do the easy stuff, don't get me wrong. Easy usually means one doesn't have to think too hard, therefore making the project more portable for all those times in the doctors office while I wait to get stabbed for another blood test. I have 3 months of that yet to go. But it's time to challenge myself at home.

I cast on the first big project of 2009. I'm going to make the Striped Kimono Jacket by Sandi Rosner, published for free on the Crystal Palace Yarns web site. The stitch pattern isn't that challenging-thus making it a very portable project, Mostly stockinette and garter stitch. A small bit of slip stitch is thrown in for fun. The shape of the pieces is where I'll get the challenge. It's done in four L-shaped pieces. There are no pattern schematics (I hate that!) so I will have to pretty much go on faith with this one.

It's also done in 3 different colors. Here are the yarns I've chosen.


I have a large skein of hand spun hand painted worsted weight merino wool that I bought a few years ago at a Spin In. I've chosen Cascade Superwash 220 in dark purple for the main color, and Kiwi green Noro Cash Iroha for the accent color. So far, I'm liking it.


(Silver is enjoying sitting on the windowsill and watching the Chickadees.) You may notice I'm doing the main color solid, and the raised stripes with the variegated (The pattern is the opposite). That's cos I don't have enough yards of the variegated merino to use it as the main color. I'm actually quite happy with how it's looking. I wasn't sure the green bumps would show in the middle of the variegated stripes, but they're showing up very nicely.

Then, there's the Bayerische socks. I'm slowly whittling away on the first one. I am not a fast knitter when doing these kinds of stitch patterns. I like to be careful and enjoy the process (yes, I'm a process knitter). I've got 2 full pattern repeats done now. I'm trying to decided if I want to stop there and call them anklets, or take a chance on the yarn and add another pattern repeat before doing the heel. I have a total of 550 yards in the skein. The pattern uses an enormous amount of yarn (90 sts around!) for the size of the project. Cables do that. Do I have enough for 3 repeats?

I recently have had an S.E.X. trip. That would be Stash Enhancement Experience trip for those uninitiated. In this case, Michaels was having a great sale on their good glass beads. I couldn't resist these. So unusual.


Or these. At 2 strands for 4 bucks, how could I?


The colors in this second bunch are shiny. They sparkle very brightly with an a/b finish. The ones on the left have a base of transparent red. The ones on the right have a base of smoky topaz. Now, what am I gonna make with them?

On the weather front. We got about 6 inches of new snow Thursday night. It did not snow Friday, or will today either. HURRAY!!! We're getting a break for a day or two. Unfortunately, Sweet Hubby has broken the snow shovels with the last batch. It was heavy, and crusty. When he did the upper deck he actually had to get the pick ax out to break up the snow enough to shovel it off! He and DD Ruth went into Coeur d'Alene in the afternoon to get a new shovel. HA!!! There are no more. Lowes got a shipment of 600 of them in the day before and it was gone in less than 6 hours. So, I guess it will be regular shovels for the duration.

Have a great day.

1/1/09

Links to Learn Knitting

Learn Some Beading

January 1, 2009




Wishing you a happy, safe, interesting, fulfilling year 2009.
Oh, and lots of knitting and beading too!

2009 Knitting I've Complete

Knitting projects I've completed in the year 2009





Openwork Shrug for Knitwits:

Pattern: Openwork Shrug by Charlotte Quiggle.
Yarn: Cotton by Fantacia (a vintage yarn)
Content: Cotton and Acrylic boucle'
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 9 and 10.
Size: Ladies small (45.5 inches long)
Cast on: November 3 , 2009
Bound off: December 26, 2009

Comments: The pattern is very easy to knit. It was a nice portable project to take places where I didn't want to think much (can you say chatting while knitting?). It's a pattern that works well with textured yarns. I did make a change in the sleeves. I seamed for 10 inches (instead of to the markers) because it seemed to fit better that way.


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Pattern: 93-8 Open Finger Mittens in Alpaca by DROPS Designs.
Yarn: Stitchjones Tribute Merino DK
Color: Angelica
Content: 100% Superwash Merino
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 3.
Size: Ladies Medium
Cast on: December 11, 2009
Bound off: December 19, 2009

Comments: I love the way this yarn pooled, and I'm very pleased that I managed to make the two gloves match, more or less. This yarn is nice to work with. The pattern is fairly well written, easy to knit. There is a basket weave pattern in the hand part. Although it doesn't show in the picture, it does show in real life.

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Little Cables Socks for Frank:

Pattern: Little Cables Socks by me
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Solid
Color: Chocolate
Content: 80% Superwash wool/20% Nylon
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size: Mens Medium (size 8 shoe)
Cast on: November 22, 2009
Bound off: December 8, 2009

Comments: I love this stitch pattern. It's very easy to remember, and works up very quickly. I did use a lace weight nylon yarn to reinforce the toes and heels. This pattern is available for free on my pattern blog.

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Scribble Scarf for Heidi:

Yarn: Recycled Silk by Himalaya Yarn and Kiddy Print Mohair by Laines du Nord
Color: SD-00 and Pink
Content: 100% silk and 80% Mohair/20% Polyamide
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 15.
Size: 6 inches wide by 6 feet long
Cast on: December 8, 2009
Bound off: December 19, 2009

Comments: Fast easy knit. All garter stitch, but the one row of contrasting novelty yarn every seventh row keeps it interesting.

I do not like working with the Recycled Silk yarn. For such an expensive yarn it is very stiff, coarse, and twisted too tight so it wants to curl up into loops. I probably won't work with this stuff again (which sucks cos I've got 5 more hanks of it-sigh)

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Citrus Yellow Bayerische Socks for me:

Pattern: Bayerische by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Wool Sock Yarn
Color: Citrus
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 1.
Size: Ladies Medium (9 to 10 inch foot)
Cast on: July 23, 2009
Bound off: November 19, 2009

Comments: As one of my friends said to me, finishing these socks gives me braggin' rights. This was a very challenging pattern. Not for working on when you want to just knit and chat. (In other words, don't take it with you to knit club) I would not recommend it for beginners. I love it though. It's very well written and even though I found myself making stupid mistakes and frogging way too often, I enjoyed knitting it. I definitely have a passion for twisted cabled traveling stitch knitting.

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Baby Booties for Knitwits

Pattern: Free Seamless Baby Bootees by Megan Mills
Yarn: See each pic description
Needles: Size 3 Addi Turbo Circulars
Size: To fit 0-3 months.

Here are easy instructions for grafting the sole stitches as they end up when the knitting is finished. I got this info from Rav member Hellahelen's notes (she knit these bootees too):

1- Insert yarn as if to purl in first stitch of front needle, drop it of the needle.
2- insert yarn as if to knit in next stitch on front needle, leave it on the needle.
3- insert yarn as if to purl on first stitch on back needle, drop it off the needle.
4- insert yarn as if to knit in next stitch on back needle, leave it on the needle.
Repeat these 4 steps.




Yarn: Opal Petticoat color #1296
Content: 75% superwash Wool/ 25% Nylon
Cast on: September 30, 2009
Bound off: October 3, 2009

Comments: This is a fun pattern. Well written, easy to understand. By the way, this is the third project I've made with this skein of yarn. It's all gone now.




Yarn: Opal Solid in Kiwi Green
Content: 75% superwash Wool/ 25% Nylon
Cast On: October 6, 2009
Bound Off: October 9, 2009

Comments: I used a leftover bit of a ribbon novelty yarn chain stitched to make the ties. I had just enough of it to do that. If the ties had needed to be any longer I wouldn't have had enough.



Yarn: Unknown vintage Baby Pompadour in white with a silver grey thread.
Content: Acrylic and Nylon
Cast On: October 9, 2009
Bound Off: October 18, 2009

Comments: I did a 4x2 Garter rib for the cuff. Nice yarn to work with. I wish it had a label.



Yarn: Opal Petticoat 1292
Content: 75% superwash Wool/ 25% Nylon
Cast On: October 19, 2009
Bound Off: October 22, 2009

Comments: For this pair I did 2x2 rib in the cuff.



Yarn: Unknown vintage Baby Pompadour in white with a blue thread.
Content: Acrylic and Nylon
Cast On: October 23, 2009
Bound Off: November 1, 2009

Comments: Did 2x2 rib for the cuff. Used a plain blue fingering acrylic for the i-cord ties.


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Pattern: Mexican Waters Lattice by me
Yarn: Sock by Malabrigo
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size: Ladies Medium (9 to 10 inch foot)
Cast on: January 18, 2009
Bound off: July 23, 2009

Comments:
They're knit from the top down on 2 circular needles. Would be easy to adjust to other methods though. The stitch pattern I used is Quilted Lattice from Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitting Patterns Vol. 1. It's fairly easy to memorize and knits up fairly quickly.

I do want to make a comment on the yarn. This is probably the softest yarn I've ever made a pair of socks with. Time will tell if it holds up to the wear and tear that being my socks requires.

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Wedding Mitts for Sarah:
Pattern: Presto Mitts by Robbyn Kenyon
Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist by Fino in Champagne (#0098) knit with 2 strands held together.
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 2.
Size:
One size fits most
Cast on: June 15. 2009
Bound off: June 26, 2009

Comments: Pattern is well written and fun.

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Pattern: Fir Cone Triangular Shawl by Fruitcake Knits
Size: 64 inches wide, 33 inches long at center.
Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist by Fino in Champagne (#0098)
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular size 5.
Cast on: April 16, 2009
Bound off: June 16, 2009

Comments: This was a great pattern to do after not knitting lace for years and years. Simple, easy to memorize, works up beautifully. I'd recommend it for first time lace knitters. However, there are some mistakes in it. See my blog post on the project for more info.

The yarn is wonderful to work with. Very soft, doesn't split easily. I plan to use it again in a shawl some time.

~~~~~~~~~~



Something for Alma:
Pattern: Cardigan-b6-3 Cardigan and socks by DROPS design
Bonnet-b18-1 Bonnet and scarf by DROPS design
Yarn: Candy DK by King Cole Yarns in Cinder Toffee, ONline Linie 174 Pinto in Coral Pink.
Needles: Size 4 and 5 Addi Turbo Circulars.
Cast On: February 15, 2009

Completed: April 2, 2009

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Peaches and Grapes:
Pattern: Super Natural Stripes by Fawn Pea.
Yarn:
TLC Heather in Grapevine, and an unknown worsted acrylic yarn in pale peach.
Needles: Size 4 Addi Turbo Circulars.
Cast On: January 12, 200

Completed: February 14, 2009