Sunday, December 26, 2010

Knitting for Ella

We got the fantastic news that my SIL is going to have a little girl in April. We've all gotten so used to boys that everybody was a little surprised--most of all the mommy to be! I loved the way that Meg told me. She called me and asked if I wanted to go to the American Girl store. So cute. Well, I've been noting girl patterns for over 7 years now so I had a huge list of things that I wanted to make. I got started right away. It became obvious that Ella will be one spoiled little lady! I've finished up a few things so far.

A pink Heaven Mini Baby Blanket.
4 balls of Plymouth Heaven
US 15 needles

Ribbons hat from Itty Bitty Hats
Yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash
Used US size 5 needles to get 5 sts/inch gauge

I have several other projects that are ever so close to being finished, so you'll have to keep tuning in to see them over the next week. I've bought LOTS of pink and purple as of late!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! May your day be filled with family, laughter, love, and yarn.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Few Holiday Traditions

Over the years, Patrick and I have slowly developed our own little holiday traditions. It is funny to realize how many of them came about by accident. We always go to the movies on Christmas Day, for instance.  We also always watch Love Actually--LOVE that movie.

Of course, like a lot of people, there are certain foods that we also have during this time of year. I don't like chocolate, but one of PK's favorite treats are Crinkle Cookies. So, I decided that I was going to make these for him one day. I'm a mess in the kitchen. Well, this time was no exception. I had flour everywhere and things were flying around. I made the batter, let it cool, and baked them. I pulled them out a little worried because they didn't look right. I tasted one and YUCK. Well, crap. I went back to the recipe and realized that I misread the oil amount. OMG. It was so bad. So, a few days later (after I was over my anger at being a dunce in the kitchen) I remade them and Patrick has been eating them for days now.

We do a lot of reading, watching movies, knitting, and playing games during our two holiday weeks. I love this time of the year because I get to spend such much time with PK and the dogs. I am easily a little bit of hermit and I'm happy to stay at home and knit every day. For two weeks I can do this without feeling guilty!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Knitting Ornaments

Every year I plan to knit some Christmas ornaments and I never get to it. Well, at the prompting of Nan, I finally went out after yoga one Friday and bought some various size glass and styrofoam balls. I found a ball of Holiday Socks yarn in colors that go well with the theme of our tree (and a little glitter :)! So far, I have made one large ornament and one baby. I used the Kalamazoo Knits pattern for the larger one. I winged it for the small one. Now that I understand the construction, I can't wait to make up my own patterns and designs. I think I'll be making lots of ornaments throughout this year!

Aren't the fun? This one is the 3 1/4 inch size in case you want to make some. I do HIGHLY recommend that you use the two circular needle method instead of double points. It makes it much easier to get the ornament into your knitting. I did find the last few rows of the large ornament difficult to do, but I just went with it and then used a really long tail to close any spots that I didn't like. This was a great yarn to use as it changed colors often enough to give the variation within a small sized project. I used size US 2 needles.

I also have to post a picture of this cute little surprise that my SIL's mother gave me. It is SO cute. Thanks, Tonya! It says Knitting Queen on the tag and has yarn and needles in the little bag.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Raleigh Christmas

This past weekend we got to visit with my brother and his family. This is Raleigh's first Christmas so it was fun to see him looking at everything. He is SUCH a good baby. He is so happy to just hang out and chill. Of course, I used the opportunity to get some pictures of the little guy!

 He looked so cute in his highway hat. Those little cheeks!

 He liked his new little penguin pal and his music table.

And I love this picture with Uncle Patrick. Super cute!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snapdragon Tam

I LOVE all of Ysolda's designs. Love, love, love them. I settled on making the snapdragon tam out of my red madelinetosh. I made the medium size and used size 5 needles to get gauge. It was a more difficult knit than I thought it would be, just because of all the increases/decreases and cables. I had to pay more attention than I'm used to for hats! But, it was worth it. I think the result is darling.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Family Heirlooms

When we went to Lafayette for Thanksgiving, my MIL surprised "the girls" with some special family heirlooms. I know that I will get things all turned around and wrong, but I'll try my best. Patrick's great grandparents on his dad's side of the family came to the States withe one suitcase of belongings. So, you can imagine how much they cherished all of their things. She handmade several crocheted hot pads and those had been passed down to my in-laws. Each of the girls got a crocheted item from the great grandmother. How special is that?

It is still in such great condition! I tucked it away in my yarn studio. The thing will NEVER touch a hot pot or pan!!! Katie received a red version of this one and Meg selected the round ones that were red and white and very cute. I love that so many of our grandmothers crocheted. It makes me smile to carry on a tradition.

Then, Diane brought out a pink tissue paper wrapped item and gave it to me. As I unrolled it, I knew exactly what it was. I had admired it before on a visit and investigated it to see how it worked and such. It was her grandmothers antique crochet hook. I got all teary. It meant so much to me to be given this item. I did some research online and it appears that the hook is bone. Most of the ones I found online had a hook on one end and a point on the other end, but this one is hooked on both ends with a connector in between. This, too, is displayed in the yarn studio in a special spot. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gina's Version of a Highway Hat

After making the Highway Hat for Jack, I wanted to make one for Raleigh. The pattern was only a one size pattern and I didn't particularly love the bottom of the hat. So...I used my numbers for my Flowers of Fall hat pattern and tossed in the "highway" portion. I also knitted in all the buttons to prevent them from becoming a choking item.

Yarn: Green is Dream in Color Classy; Black is Vintage Berroco; Yellow is Cascade 220 Superwash
Needle: US 5

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Alpaca Mittens

I was knitting these up the other day and they were SO yummy. It is a free pattern from Plymouth yarn (with purchase of Alpaca Grande). I knitted them on a size 9 needle to get gauge, but the pattern calls for size 10. These were knitted using 1 skein of Misti Alpaca Chunky in color Gypsy Lips (love the name).

Friday, December 3, 2010


Christmas arrived in the Kanouse household the day after Thanksgiving. Every year, I use the day to clean the house (deep cleaning), decorate, and wrap up presents. This year, I felt old! I could barely move around the next day after all the eating on Thursday and work on Friday. It is always so much fun to pull out the ornaments and remember when/where/who it came from and what memories are attached. Each year, we add a few.

Our discount artificial tree that I bought our first Christmas at a Black Friday sale is still holding up well. I'm so attached to the thing that we will probably keep the thing forever. It is 12 years old and has such a pretty shape to it.

This year we added some very special snowflakes to the tree. Patrick's parents have long had crocheted snowflakes on their family tree and this year my MIL surprised all the "kids" with our own snowflakes as a thank you for making Thanksgiving dinner.

It was so special and I love them. So pretty. According to Diane, she was able to get through one in an hour. I didn't find out where the patterns are from, but I bet you could look in Ravelry for some references. They are treated so that they are stiff and hold their shape.

I also have a habit of picking up an ornament as my souvenirs from trips. (Saves money and keeps the knick knack level in the house at a minimum. I'm a bit OCD about having too many things sitting out and around.) Anyway, the white one in the next picture is all shells. We grabbed these at the airport in Turks and Caicos.

The little clay sheep are too cute, aren't they?

Our nephew, Aidan, made the family members ornaments this year, too. We got a tree and stocking. So special.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


As I was thinking about some blog posts, I realized I had this odd smattering of things on my desktop.

1. I got my first shipment of the Madelinetosh yarn club. YUMMY! What should I make? Hm....Any suggestions?

2. As I was blogging, PK came back from the grocery and was unpacking things. Kennedy got a little curious and managed to get all of the bags stuck to her. We got a good laugh!

3. I ordered these two bag patterns for me to knit up over Christmas vacation. After all the knitting for gifts and orders, I plan to knit for myself for a few weeks before starting on my goals for 2011. Good grief! 2011!!!! When did that happen? The frightening thing about these bags is that I have all the yarn in my stash. Gulp. Well, that should manage to blow through my felting yarns so that I can have room for more.

4. This year marked my 15 year anniversary at Pearson Education. After looking through the gifts, I went for the fabric steamer. I've been wanting a nice one for blocking and here it was. :) I can't imagine that many people pick the steamer, but I was happy as a clam to get it.

5. Speaking of blocking...I was getting some things organized before blogging and I needed to block some fingerless gloves. I was worried about the finger openings being bound off too tight. Instead of taking them out, I wondered if they could be blocked out first. I wet them and them thought, "What could I use to keep them stretched while drying?" Crochet hooks, of course. It looks kind of creepy! People ask me all the time what I use to block and my answer is always whatever I have around the house that is the right shape and size.