Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saturday Sky December 30 2006

Since the sky is a dull grey, here is some local scenery with the sky peeking through. It is taken on Brooklyn Boulevard looking between some houses. I've spotted this scene many times while driving down the street, so today I made a point of stopping. It's one of those places you'll miss if you blink. The weather today is dreary, rain, possible snow predicted. Temperature at 2 PM is 42, most unusual for MN!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Slippery Socks

During my surprise birthday party at the yarn shop, my 17 year old grand daughter said I could make her a pair of slippery socks for Christmas. The actual name is spiral tube socks and the pattern is from the Cottage Creation book, "Projects for the Community." When my first 4 grand children were about 6 or 8, I made them each a pair. They loved them and promptly named them slippery socks because they slid around the hard wood floors so nicely. Since then, all the grand children have received at least one pair. What a surprise that she still wanted a pair! Another surprise is that she reads my blog-so I hadn't posted the socks before she received them. The yarn for the socks in Encore and are made on size 6 needles, I think.

My daughter is a new knitter and said now that she's finished going to school-she just received her Master's Degree-she could learn to make slippery socks. Her daughter, the recipient of the Christmas sock, said, "No, those are for Grandma to knit."


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saturday Sky December 23 2006

It was a grey day with glimpses of sun-obviously not when this picture was taken. Temperature in the low-middle 30's and we have/had snow on the ground.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Preparations

Two of our grandsons, ages 5 and 10 were over last night to decorate a gingerbread house. What fun to watch them do it without any supervision. What added to the fun was when they had pretty much finished our son's friend got into it! She confessed she had always wanted to decorate a gingerbread house and never had. Wish I had captured the expression on her face as she worked!

About a week ago our holiday celebrations began with a trip downtown Minneapolis to watch their annual Holidazzle parade. I had never seen it! The weather was perfect that evening-about 40 degrees. The parade is short, only about 1/2 hour of floats, band, and marching units, all decked out in lots of lights. Following the parade, we went to our son's for pizza and watch "The Polar Express", probably one of my favorite Christmas movies. The grandchildren were glued to the set-we had taken them to see the movie when it came out 2 years ago and the had just stared at the screen and didn't budge during the whole movie; even the youngest 3 years old at the time.

The next day, my husband and I went downtown again to Macy's to see the annual holiday display, Mary Poppins, this year. It was fun seeing the scenes with all the props from about the 20's. Then, down to the Mall of America to pick up a couple presents and to see the large gingerbread house. The outside was interesting-don't bother going inside. The outside was made of big squares of gingerbread (my husband thought were cardboard), decorated with pieces of chocolate and hard candies.

We got our Christmas snow today!


Monday, December 18, 2006

Rona Lace Shawl

It is done and I'm so happy with it! It took over 2 days to block as I ran out of blocking pins, so I completely pinned and spray starched about 3/4 of the shawl and sporadically pinned the rest. When the first section was thoroughly dry, I finished pinning the rest and gave it a spraying of starch. For a better picture, I put it on the bed with a dark sheet under it. Note-that is a queen size bed which it completely covers and hangs over!

Pattern: Rona Lace Shawl from KnitPicks. There are some mistakes in the pattern, but are published on the website.

Yarn: from Joslyn's Fiber Farm.

Needle size 6. I did have to graduate to a 32 inch circular needle. I prize myself on never needing anything longer than a 24 or 29 but when I snapped my expensive (!) rosewood needle pushing stitches around, I gave in and bought a longer needle-not rosewood.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Sky December 16 2006

Another unseasonably warm day and no snow yet. A lot of Minnesotans are wishing for snow. Others like it this way! It can stay warm and brown.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stretchy Circular Needles

I love to try new things and new gadgets. An ad in a knitting magazine caught my eye for circular needles that stretch. I thought maybe this was the solution for avoiding knitting socks on double pointed needles (which I don't mind) or 2 circular needles (which I hate). The only size I could see that the needles come in is size 2 or 2.75 mm. The length recommended for socks is the 10 inch length, but they do come in other lengths all the way up to 52 inches. My question is, if they stretch, why do you need 52 inches. Anyway, I've knit only 1 inch on a sock ribbing and do not know if these are any different from the old 10 inch circulars which caused pain in the hands because of the short shanks on the needles and the small circumferance of the circle. These might be better because your hands in the center of the circle seem to stretch the cords a little bit as you work to make a larger circumference.

This shows how the cable stretches-sort of.

I still haven't made up my mind if they are keepers or if I go back to the dpns. Look them up at

PS. They will be put in the box with other curiosity notions and I'll go back to my double point needles. I got pain in my hands so had to go back to wearing my braces at night for a couple nights.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday Sky December 9 2006

It was a beautiful day! Not a cloud in the sky all day and warm for December in Minnesota. At 4:30 PM our thermometer showed 39 degrees-probably about 25 degrees above normal for this time of year. We'll keep it!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Culver's KnitWits

Yesterday I sorted out the knit and crochet items my group that meets at Culver's every week has made for various charities. My husband says this picture does not give the piles on the bed and floor justice! This time the donations will go to a local food shelf, women's shelter, a pregnant teen program, a nursing home, and Head Start. The total number of items donated is 5055! This group started in January of 2003 with 4 people and now the number of people attending each week has grown to about 40!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wren Ross's Greatest Knits

This is a fun CD which has lyrics relating to knitting set to popular music-"76 Trombones" is my favorite which actually gives a hat pattern sung to the music. The following is a quote I received in a promotional e-mail. You can listen to a sample on

"Enjoy this CD that celebrates the delights and dilemmas shared by fiber artists, knitters, crocheters, weavers and the people who know and love them. Some of the songs included are "Ba Ba Blacksheep" (a bluesy version about a yarn addict for whom three bags of wool is NOT enough!) and "After the Ball is Over" (After the Skein is Done) and lots more! Wren brings warmth and humor to each song. Play Wren Ross's Greatest Knits while finishing up those last minute holiday gifts! "

A wonderful gift for your knitting friends!


Monday, December 04, 2006

Julia Roberts Movie

My violets in full bloom!

A few weeks ago I wrote about Julia Roberts being in a movie based on a book about a knitting shop. Well, I've got the correct facts now. The movie will be produced in 2008 and is based on a book to be published January 18, 2007 by Kathleen Jacobs. Both are named, "The Friday Night Knitting Club" and is about a group of women who form a bond when they meet in a small knitting shop in NY. (Boy, that sounds just like the plot of "The Shop on Blossom Street" which I had originally said the movie was based on).

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday Sky December 2 2006

The day whizzed by and I almost forgot to take my picture, but the timing was just right to get the sun as it sank below the horizon leaving this beautiful trail of red. It was short lived, almost gone by the time I got back in the house. The day was sunny (I think-it was when I left this morning to go to Curves and to teach at the yarn shop) but windy and the temperature at the time this was taken was 17 degrees on our thermometer.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Wonderful Wallaby

Another Christmas present is done! Sorry the picture doesn't do it justice. But this is my favorite sweater for children and to knit as it is made in one piece from bottom to top. With the help of Sweater Wizard I was able to make the matching American Girl Wallaby. Again, the pattern is from Cottage Creations and the yarn is Encore, knit on size 8 needles.