Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Tree Baby Hat

Christmas Tree Baby Hat
Originally uploaded by rallaronson

Here is the first of two baby hats I am making for my grandkids in California. I'm racing against the clock to finish and get them in the mail. It will be worth the hurry to see a photo of them wearing the hats on Christmas day.

It's an easy pattern and works up really quickly. I'm using Reynolds Signature and size 4 Addi Turbos, knitting in the round. The little red tree ornaments are satin stitched once the hat is finished and my daughter gave me a lesson in how to make pom-poms. I found the pattern on line at:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Devo Finished

Devo finished
Originally uploaded by rallaronson
Wow! This is the second item I've finished this week. I pulled this yarn from my stash thinking it would make a nice, cozy scarf for the host we are staying with for the holidays. I've had some people tell me it's too pink for a man to wear, but I see it as a rich wine color. The photo here doesn't really do it justice. It has much more blue in it. Why is it that the same digital camera can take photos of the same object and it comes out a different color every time?

In any event, DH thinks it's a lovely scarf and says he would wear it so I am going ahead with plan A and will wrap it up to give to our friend. By the way, I plan to give Wavy from Knitty to his wife.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Turtleneck Finally Finished

Turtleneck finished 2
Originally uploaded by rallaronson
It's done! I bound off the sleeves and wove in the ends. My DH put it right on and is sitting at the computer wearing it. He is very pleased! And, I feel a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

It's the biggest project I've ever knit and has taken months to complete. It may have a few minor flaws, but all in all, I'm delighted with the finished product.

Now I can embark on new projects without guilt.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I haven't blogged in a while because I've been busy in California the past two weeks helping with my two new twin grandchildren. I was the laundress and the kitchen cleaner (and crying baby holder) while my daughter-in-law and son did most of the baby care. Twins are a handful.

But, you ask, why is this entry called procrastination? Well, I've been working for months on a sweater for my husband. It's a top down project in ultra alpaca. It's just miles and miles of stockinet stitch and I keep starting new projects to relieve the boredom. In mid-November I made a promise to avoid starting anything new until I finished it, but I broke the promise three times last week.

One of the broken promise projects was this sweater from a Reynolds Baby Cardigan pattern. It was an easy knit and I just used some Caron Simply Soft from my stash (I brought an oversize suitcase loaded with stash yarn to California). The color is not this muted. It's a much brighter green but for some reason this is the way it photographed. I sent it off to my nephew with an eyelet hat. He and his significant other will be having a baby girl in February. It will be a bit big for her at first, but she will grow into it.

To update you on the top down sweater. I nearly finished one sleeve on the way home on the plane and I'm into the second one. I haven't done the ribbing because I want to double check the sleeve length before I complete them. The sweater is soft and lovely and I'm sure DH will enjoy it if I ever get it finished.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wavy from Knitty

Wavy #1
Originally uploaded by
My major project at the moment is a top-down turtleneck sweater for DH using Berroco Ultra Alpaca. The yarn is soft and lovely to work with but the miles of stockinette stitch is really getting to me. I decided I needed an alternate project with a pattern to break up the monotony. I had some Reynolds Signature in my stash and decided to use it to make a scarf using Sarah Smith's Wavy from the Winter 2004 issue of Knitty. It's just knit and purl, but it's such an ingenious design. You can see how the pattern is developing after just 18 rows. It's really important to keep track of which row you are knitting and a row counter is recommended. I don't own one so I am making hatch marks on a 3 X 5 card. I can see it's going to be hard to go back to Dick's sweater!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Molly in Monica

molly in Monica
Originally uploaded by rallaronson
Here's a photo of my beautiful granddaughter, Molly, modeling Monica by knitty. This picture was taken earlier this month. It shows what a warm autumn we've been having in New Jersey that she can be outdoors this late in the year in this outfit. I'm very pleased with the way this project turned out. I made some modifications, knitting it in the round and using a heavier gauge yarn, Caron Simply Soft, from my stash. I'll probably make more of these next spring for my three younger granddaughters.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Scar Killer Socks with Goodies

Well, I'm finally dead. My killer socks arrived this afternoon. Courtney started them and Carolynn, aka cinnamonamon finished them. You can see they are really nice. My socks, for Cara, aka Woolslinger, are still not done. I am so stuck. I made a minor error turning the heel, couldn't find it and tried to fudge things. It just isn't working and I don't have the oomph (even with the chai tea that cinnamonamon sent me) to frog them again and redo the heal. I think they are better off in someone else's hands. I don't think I'll do this again. I really enjoyed the e-mails, but the knitting really didn't engage me. I'm pretty sure I'm not suited to knitting on needles any smaller than size 7.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Striped Baby Sweater

I finally finished the second striped baby sweater. The pink one was sent off to California long before the twins were born. Fortunately this is a nine months size and there will be time for them to grow into their matching sweaters. I have a number of other unfinished items in the Rubbermaid tubs that I use to store my stash. Cataloging every item for ravelry has been a real incentive to finish things up and take photos of them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Struggles with SockWars

Scar Sock #3
Originally uploaded by rallaronson
I have been struggling now for about ten days about my scar socks. I found the first sock relatively easy to knit, especially for someone who hasn't ever finished a pair. The pattern is really nice and it's not hard to remember. The directions are clear. One thing I'm not happy about is the yarn, Dream in Color, Smooshy. I had trouble making guage and went up a needle size to 4. The socks feel thin. The yarn was labeled DK at the LYS, but on ravelry it's labeled fingering weight. It was rather pricey, so I didn't feel I could buy something else. This is the first project in a long time that I don't feel really good about.
I heard yesterday that my assassin, who is actually my original assassin's assassin (this gets pretty complicated, doesn't it), has finished my socks and is mailing them to me. That means I will need to send her my unfinished socks. I actually feel relieved and I'm not sure I will do something like this again. I feel guilty that I didn't just get them done and in the mail.
The most fun part of the whole enterprise was checking the e-mail entries on the yahoo group. I spent more time doing that, I think, than I did actually knitting the socks.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Hats

I finished two hats this past week. I thought it would be cute for the twins to have pumpkin hats to wear for Halloween. I found the pattern on the net and it was a very quick knit. I sent them off yesterday and I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the two babes sporting the hats.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sonnet is Finished

I finished Sonnet on Thursday morning and wore it to work. The only problem is how stretchy the neck is. The shoulders keep slipping down. I will need to do something to tighten things up. Suggestions include grosgrain ribbon or crocheting the edge. Since I have never crocheted anything, I'm a bit anxious about that solution. The sweater looks good and I'm afraid of messing it up. I've decided to stew a bit about it and address it some time next week.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Finishing Sonnet

Here is the photo I promised of Sonnet; that is, Sonnet as a work in progress. Finishing is something I don't look forward to. My seams are often lumpy. I'm very happy with the way the various parts turned out and I have buttons I bought in France. Everytime I wear it I will remember working on it during our trip and the wonderful time we had.

Exciting News

My twin grandchildren were born on Friday, October 5. It was a vaginal delivery and both children, PJ and Ellie, are healthy. We, of course, are thrilled. My son and daughter-in-law waited many years for this moment and we are so happy for them. We are waiting for pictures to make their way to the east coast.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Back from France

We're home now and still recovering from jet lag. Waking up at 3:30 AM really doesn't do it for me especially when I have to work all day. It was a wonderful trip, walking from village to village. We have lots of photos, but they need to be sorted and labeled. That will take a while.

Re: knitting. All the pieces of Sonnet are done. I just need to sew them together. I'm not confident of my finishing skills so I have been procrastinating a bit. I'll post a photo when I've gotten it together. I did find really nice buttons in a small yarn shop in Amboise and it will feel good to have French buttons on my sweater.

Retirement is six more working days away. It's such a great feeling; a weight lifted off my shoulders. The VP offered me the opportunity to continue on an hourly basis doing those parts of the job I like best. I took her up on it.

We're still waiting for the twins to arrive. I was so surprised they weren't born while we were away, but it's a good thing my daughter-in-law is carrying them nearly to term. The risk will be lower the longer she can hold on to them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting Excited

Dick and I leave for France on Friday. We'll be joining our daughter, Jackie in Orleans and will be walking from village to village in the Loire Valley. Dick has worked for weeks figuring the mileage and searching the internet for small hotels or B & B's. He's lined up all the walks and the accomodations for the first 10 days. Then Jackie will go back to Paris and Dick and I will continue for a few more days on our own.

We've done this kind of trip before using an outfitter that booked the hotels and ferried the luggage. This time we will be carrying everything we need on our backs. I've carefully selected things for my pack and it weighs about 17 pounds. I think we will manage fine.

It's a strange time for me. My last day of work is October 12 so I will work two more weeks after we return home. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up. The powers that be at the agency are already campaigning for me to stay on in some capacity doing home studies or staff training or both. I will be negotiating with them when I come back. I'm so ambivalent. I want some time off to play but doing a bit of contract work would sure help pay for my health insurance. I have to COBRA for ten months and it is really expensive!!

I'm hard at work on Sonnet. I've finished the second arm hole and am nearing the finish of the front shoulder. It's almost time to decrease for the neck. I don't think I will finish before we leave (I have to do the sleeves) and I won't be bringing it to France because everything I bring I have to carry. I'm going to bring the sock project instead because it's small.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Browsing on Knitty and on Flickr I've seen many versions of Haiku and Sonnet, cardigans knit sideways. I made a version of Haiku for my granddaughter and now I'm making Sonnet for myself. It's an easy knit and I love the yarn I chose. The LYS near my sister's home is closing for good (this is very sad because my sister loves the shop and I like to stop there as well whenever I visit her) and everything is marked down. The friendly, helpful owner figured out how much yarn I would need (I'm substituting for the Knitty recommended yarn) and I left happily with the makings of my Sonnet sweater. The yarn is Rosina King Kelly, a blend of cotton and acrylic in color 101. I've searched online for the name of the colorway, but Yarndex and Yarnmarket refer to it only by number. It's a wonderful combination of hot pink blending to purple. I don't think my photo does it justice.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


I've spent the past few weeks immersed in blog reading, particularly knitting blogs. I think it's time for me to have a blog of my own. Since I am about to embark on my second retirement, I'll have more time to post, to knit and to comment on things in the world.