Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Speechless. . .

My best friend, Sarah, has been working on what she called the "Big Secret Knitting Project" for almost 9 months now.

On Saturday at a BBQ that we held to celebrate the final stage in the adoption of our son she handed me a small yellow gift bag.

Inside that gift bag is one of the most beautiful pieces of knitting I have ever seen.

It is Snowflakes in Cedarwoods Shawl, in honor of my little Alaska Baby.

On Sunday the Lion Baby was wrapped in it as the Duke gave him his baby blessing.

Then I wrapped myself in it as I spoke in church (our church has only lay clergy and members of the congregation are asked to give the sermons.)

I didn't know that a shawl could not only keep you warm, but also let you feel loved.

One day I hope the Lion Baby's bride will wear it on their wedding day.

And I hope that Sarah is right there with me as we both bawl our eyes out just like we did in church on Sunday.

Thank you, Sarah.  It is stunning, and you are the best friend a girl (especially a knitter girl) could ever ask for, and the best auntie a Lion Baby could ever want!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Wreath Commitment (for the children!)

I'm not really a person who decorates for the different holidays and seasons.  It's not that I don't like seasonal decorations, my Mom always had cute decorations for the holidays.  I just have a hard enough time keeping my house dusted and vacuumed.  I don't want my valentines decorations still up at Easter, and I know that is what would happen, so my holiday/ seasonal decorations are minimal, very minimal. 

Little Sir is a very passionate and excited child, though.  Last year after he went to bed on "his" Christmas Eve I felt a little guilty so I threw up a garland, a strand of lights and a few ornaments.  (We celebrate early because we usually spend Christmas in Utah with family.)  He was in awe, I think it is the only time I've ever seen him (even briefly) demonstrate reverence.  He also LOVES pumpkins because of Halloween, and last year we didn't even carve them, we just put them out on our front porch.

So, I decided that I didn't need to make myself crazy, but I could still brighten things up a bit by at least changing out my wreath.  This means I either have to buy or make a wreath for every season except Christmas.  We always have an evergreen wreath at Christmas.  I LOVE the smell of the branches, and it is easy, so it's a tradition I embrace.

OK, so fall/ autumn/ harvest. . .


I do love fall leaves, but I wanted something different than the usual fall leaves on a grapevine wreath.  The wreath is a simple willow wreath from the dollar store which I spray painted a glossy black.

I chose a wreath garland from Joann's that was very neutral, no bright oranges and yellows.  I wanted something a little more subdued.  I dusted the garland with a gold spray paint, lighter in some areas, heavier in others.

The pumpkins are foam pumpkins that I Modge Podged aluminum foil to and then glazed.  (This took WAY longer than I should have let it, but I just love how those little pumpkins turned out!

 They are simply hot glued to the willow wreath after the leaf garland was carelessly wrapped around and secured.

The little nests are made from corn husks.

Which got lightly dusted with a cooper color.

So happy and fallish, it even inspired me to buy a small fall decoration for my home.  Details coming soon. . . .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buying a Sweater

Do any other knitters out there have problems buying sweaters?  I know I can knit anything that I find with very few exceptions, so I feel like it is silly for me to buy a sweater.  However, the reality is that I've completed a grand total of ONE sweater for myself since Little Sir was born nearly three years ago.  My knitting time and my ability to think about complex knitting patterns have both been drastically reduced since my two little guys have joined our family.

My second problem with buying sweaters is that I am (like most knitters) very particular about the fiber that I will wear.  I hate the feeling of acrylic yarn and I also hate that acrylic and cotton sweaters begin to look much worse for wear after only one season of wearing them.

My third issue is that I don't have a lot of money to spend on clothes.  I buy nearly all of my clothes second hand, both for financial reasons and personal reasons.  I have found a few lovely second hand sweaters, but they are very few and far between.  Wool sweaters are also dated by the time they find their way to a thrift store, because people who wear wool sweaters know their value and keep them around.

OK, now that I've written way too much about how hard I find buying a nice wool sweater for myself, I thought I'd show you a few that I am considering purchasing, as I have a special event coming up that I would like to wear a nice sweater too.

Peregrine by J.G. Glover Merino Wool Cardigan Sweater- Shawl Collar 

Simple, classic design.  I love the collar.

J.G. Glover Merino Wool Turtleneck Cardigan Sweater

Similar, simpler cables, less fitted body.  This one obviously looks good open, which is important to me.

Neve Designs Sweaters - Pia Retro Snowflake Zip Cardigan

Isn't this pretty.  I love the color and the simple bold color work.  I am also a huge fan of zippers in cardies, but NOT a fan of actually putting them in.

With a Twist Amiar Warp Cardigan 

Gosh, isn't this pretty?  I love the smocking, the length, the collar. . . I'm not in love with the price, though.  $144.00.  It's one of the very few over $100 I would eve consider.  (I'm pretty sure I've never spent $100 on a single article of clothing ever.)
Icelandic Design Knightsbridge Jacket
Isn't the neck on this one incredible?  And the vine detail just dresses up this simple sweater.

Have any of you purchased a wool or cashmere sweater?  Where from?  Was it worth the cost?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Some Yarn

I know, there hasn't been a lot of yarn or spinning or knitting showing up on this blog as of late.  I have been knitting and spinning, but in short spurts and with long breaks in between.  A three year old who makes the Tasmanian Devil look lazy and an adorable six month old that I can't stop looking at make for scarce knitting time.  And that doesn't speak to the lack of brain power or the fact that I often fall asleep if I sit still for too long.

Anyway, someday soon I'll show you what little I've been up too.  In the mean time, I've been wanting to show you this beautiful afghan that my grandmother gave me a while ago.

It was made by my great grand mother using a technique called Hair Pin Lace, which is actually a crochet stitch, not a knitting stitch.  I absolutely love it and may be tempted to try it myself some day.  If any of you with a greater capacity to think and fewer small creatures relying on you want to give it a try, here is a great looking tutorial.