Hope Returns to the Needles

Since I actually finished knitting a whole sweater I am going crazy and thinking hey I can finish projects after all! So I picked up Hope, a sweater I started knitting back in 2003!!! Goodness me, I had the whole back already knitted up and part of the front and then it has been sitting in a zip lock ever since. Shameful, as is the condition of so many of my started projects. So I have now already finished the front and am a quarter of the way through the sleeves, am knitting them at the same time so they hopefully turn out the same. The great news is that the gauge is working out well so where I left off looks just like what I am doing now, phew! The sad news is I must have been dumb back in the day cause the pattern says I need 11 balls for the size I am knitting and hello I only have 10 balls. I am just crossing my fingers I can squeak it out somehow, we shall see…

Voila! Ma Mandel c’est fini!

Love the slouchy sleeves!

Finally I have some photos of my finished Mandel! Yes they are bathroom night shots but hopefully you can still see it well enough. The yarn did indeed start to grow after blocking and some wearing, perhaps I should have stuck with the smaller needles afterall :) but it is still nice and comfy all slouchy like and I am loving the long sleeves. I might redo my neckline with fewer stitches and a tighter bind off to keep it from growing too large.

Yay the shoulder pleats show up better after blocking!

The next time I knit this I will do the saddles on a smaller needles from the rest of the sweater and maybe even knit the size down just for the saddle as I have tiny shoulders. I will also not do the extra rows after the body increases so that the underarm is a little tighter to my armpit.

Check out those side pleats!

One of my favorite details in this pattern is the faux seam carried along the sleeves. Isn’t it pretty?

Nice and tidy faux seam!

I love this sweater and the sheen in the yarn is really pretty in person, sorry I could not get it in the photos.

Thanks again to Anke for letting me test knit this pattern. The Mandel pattern is up and available on Ravelry now so go check it out and knit one too!

Test Knitting…

I have been working on this loverly test knit for the Mandel pattern for Anke. I really love the classic design and the subtle details in the pattern (ooh pleats! and a saddle shoulder!). The silk I am using is very drapey so I worry that it may grow once done, but currently the fit is great and I bound off tightly in case it helps. I think this would be cute with any length sleeve as I saw when trying it on as I went along, however I am going to go all the way and stick with the original this time around. I am dreaming of making another already as is so common with other test knitters in the group. It is very interesting to see how different and still flattering it is in different yarns and with different amounts of ease. I think skinny stripes would be fun! I also think I want to try it in something like Rowan Kid Silk Haze. Ok I should stop day dreaming about another when I still have a sleeve to go with this one :) Almost there!

The combination of pattern and yarn have really thrown me back into the whole knitting thing. I have been struggling to get my mojo back for some time now and this got me going. Thank you Anke for designing and writing up such a great pattern! With the start of this project I have also decided to commit myself to fewer projects at one time, and be monogamous when it comes to works in progress. Crazy talk for me I know but it seems to be the only way for me to finish anything. So I pretend I have no stash and that is helping. Ok really now back I go to my Mandel sleeve. Ciao!

Tea Time!

Had some loose leaf tea laying around and so I decided to make these cute DIY tea bags I saw on The Sweetest Occasion. They are so cute! Pretty easy too, even for someone who does not sew, I did not have to care about precise fabric cutting or even stitches and it still works. phew!

These are going to be little gifties for Valentine’s Day to my mom and grandmother. I happened to have this crazy craft pad called Paper Purses laying around and I made them mini purses to hold their tea. So easy to do, just had to punch out the paper and glue together, fast and useful!

Blog Update

I have rolled this page over to WordPress at long last. Please update your feeds as needed, if you want to see new posts in your readers that is. I am also making a big effort to post here more often, yay!

From Snowtopia to Icehenge!!! (and new mittens!)


Look look I finished knitting something that fits and I love! Yay, these are the Fletcher Mittens and I made them with some awesome Mushishi yarn to match my pom pom hat I made awhile back. I love them, did I mention that yet? They fit great and are nice and warm, so I wear them every day right now!

Not surprising to see more snow pics, but I had these from a couple storms ago this year, so here you go!
Yup we put those giant icicles to good use in our little ice garden we call Icehenge. It continues to grow due to that little ice storm we had the other day. Man those were some serious icicles we had going on, much bigger than in my pics here but alas I was not out photographizing that day. Makes ya feel like some hot cocoa doesn’t it? And of course I have not had one decent cup this whole season. it might be time this weekend to whip some up at long last, ok off to buy me some marshmellows!