Saturday, December 27, 2008

I Cheated!

Ok, I admit it. I cheated. I started working on my 2009 sweaters 6 days early. I just couldn't wait anymore. I hope that no one will throw me out of the group!!

This holiday I seemed to be quite together in getting most of my knitted gifts done in time. I ended up making several cowls (two with the Forest Canopy Cowl pattern, one with the Spiralicious pattern and one that buttoned for a friend that would hate pulling something on and off over her head). I also made three of the Noro striped scarves (the third one was finished on Christmas Day for my Dad) and a Ravenclaw hat. I'll have some pictures and talk more about those when I get home to my computer.

Now I am visiting in NJ for a while and I brought the yarn for my first sweaters of 2009. Yeah, I could have brought something else to work on and I wouldn't have been tempted, but it really is the perfect time to get some quality knitting in and I just couldn't help myself. The first two sweaters I am working on will be the Central Park Hoodie in Shaba Green Peace Fleece and Amy King's striped Noro vest from Knitty in Noro Silk Garden. I figure they should compliment each other since the vest will be great for mindless knitting and I'm not sure how much I will need to concentrate on the Central Park Hoodie. I have decided to make the button closure on the hoodie and will actually not make the hoodie - so I guess it's actually a CPNH instead of a CPH. I loved Norma's and have since seen Anne's and Karen is finishing up hers and I think that I will get much more wear out of it and love mine more with the buttons and collar.

Please forgive me for breaking the rules but I am having fun and that is definitely one of the most important rules for this 12 sweaters in 2009 marathon!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I can’t tell you how happy this picture makes me. I have always loved reading and of course I read to my daughter to help develop her love of books and reading. It wasn’t until the past year or so that she will voluntarily pick up a book and tell me how much she loves it. Right now she is reading the Judy Moody books and it makes me smile when she tells me how funny the story is and how happy she is that I bought her these books. I'm so glad that we have another reader in the family!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Question of the Day

Why is it that I have to argue with my daughter about cleaning up her room and yet I can leave her at the barn where we take horseback riding lessons and she will clean out the horse stalls with a smile on her face?

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Public Safety Announcement

We interrupt this blog for a public service announcement. The knitter known only as knittingbythesea seems to have lost her mind. Sources wishing to remain anonymous have revealed that someone calling herself “knittingbythesea” has joined the group known as NaKniSweMoDo (Ravelry link - see *Note below). There are currently over 100 members of this extremist group and each member is planning on knitting 12 adult sized sweaters in 2009. It is not known if there is some sort of Kool-Aid concoction being circulated or if it is the fumes of the yarn itself that is giving these knitters the strength to accomplish this task. Many of the members have talked of using “stash” and working on “WIPS” as part of their plan for 2009.

The pictured button is one of the groups identifying characteristics. If you see someone displaying this symbol, please consider them armed and possibly dangerous. This has been a public safety announcement.
*Note: For those individuals that would like to find out more about this group and do not have access to Ravelry, you can check out this link for more information.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Other Crafts

I used to do a lot of quilting – belonged to a local guild and everything. Knitting kind of took over since it is much more portable for me and once I had a child, I needed things to do while I was doing other things – watching gymnastics lessons, waiting at piano lessons and things like that. You know – that multitasking thing we are all so great at!

Even though I am not doing a lot of quilting lately, I still love fabric. The colors and texture – you can get into it the same way you get into yarn. It’s all a tactile thing.

Here are some of the quilts I worked on in the past. An appliqued wall hanging:

A paper pieced pineapple (say that quickly 5 times):

We have a handmade quilt on our bed and another one on our couch. This is the quilt I am currently working on and I'm hoping to get it done in time for a Christmas present for my daughter.

I ordered a wolf print for the back. Yes, I know you are thinking – what do wolves have to do with monkeys? What can I say, my daughter is obsessed with wolves but there is no way I am scrapping the monkeys and changing to wolves so this is the next best thing. What do you want to bet that she will be putting the wolf side face up on her bed while the monkeys are no where to be seen. Just my luck!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'm in love...

... with a sweater! It’s amazing what you can get done when you work on one thing. This sweater had been sitting around for a while with just the sleeves and the front ribbing to be done.

Whatever took me so long??!! I LOVE THIS SWEATER!!!

I apologize for the crappy mirror shot. The pattern is Mr. Greenjeans but I'm calling mine Ms. Pumpkinpants because of the color.

I now understand Norma’s love of her sweater and why she was wearing it everyday. I’m trying to fool people at work by wearing a different shirt underneath it each time I wear it, but I don’t think it’s working. Although yesterday a friend came up and told me how much she liked it - and she hadn't noticed that I had worn it several times this past week. So maybe I am safe.

This sweater is amazing. The fit is perfect; the yarn is soft and cozy (Jaeger Shetland Aran bought here a while back). It was great to make because there was really no finishing work to talk of when the knitting was done. A little bit of wet steaming with the iron, sew on the button and it was ready to be worn. And believe me, I am definitely wearing it!!!
On a different note, my daughter has another request for a handknit item. As we were watching one of the Harry Potter movies (it may have been Order of the Phoenix), she saw a hat that Ginny Weasley was wearing. Now, it couldn't have been on the screen for very long, but she drew me this picture:

The O's, W's and G's stand for orange, white and green and the thing on top is a pompom (apparently a very important feature). I looked through my stash and found a few skeins of Mission Falls 1824 wool and we went to the store to pick up the white/cream.

Now I have to start a hat to add to all of the other things on the needles around here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Love My Shoes

I heart my Professional Danskos. I originally started wearing them because they were the one shoe that I found where I could comfortably wear my handknit socks. And since I especially love to wear my handknit socks, I needed a shoe that would fit. Enter the Professional Dansko. These are usually my first choice when I run out the door. They are so comfortable that I even wear them in the summer without socks. Black is my basic pair

but I also have my own pair of blue suede shoes.

And now I ordered this pair, thanks to Cara and her contest. These will soon be arriving on my doorstep. Can’t wait!

Friday, November 14, 2008

How to Make My Day

... or even my week. Cara sent me the best email this past Monday morning. I had won the grand prize in her latest contest! Can you believe it!! She had over 600 comments and I won. I was sitting at my desk at work when the email came through and I had to control myself from screaming out loud. The prizes are a $100 gift certificate to and a $25 gift certificate from Blue Moon Fibers. I am definitely shopping for a new pair of the professional Danskos (maybe these) since I wear mine all the time. And what are the odds - I have been looking at these kits on the Blue Moon website, thinking about placing an order. I can't wait to go shopping! Cara, thank you so much for haing this contest.

And, on the same day, my girlfriend handed me this magazine. It's been out for a while and of course I decided that I wanted it. And as soon as I decided that, I couldn't find it anywhere. She found the last copy at a Joann's near her.

Talk about a great Monday. Maybe I should have played the lottery.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A Child's Simple Request

As some of you long time readers may remember, I like to make my daughter a sweater every year. As she has gotten older and become more opinionated, she has definitely challenged me with her requests. This year was no different. The request this year was that she wanted a cardigan with a two way zipper. OK. The cardigan I can handle. The zipper was a different story.
We chose this pattern together and picked out the colors (Ella Rae Classic yarn). I modified the pullover version to include some extra stitches at the front. Hell, if I was going to do this, I may as well go all the way and do a steek also. This way I would learn two new things with this project.

The finished knitting –

Which then sat for a while since the next step was cutting. And all along I was researching what to do after the cutting step. To be honest, the cutting didn’t bother me so much since the whole zipper thing was my real roadblock.

Ok, so I knew that after the cutting, I would need to pick up the stitches and knit some sort of edging. I picked a seed stitch border that I saw on Claudia’s blog. Two of the sites that I found useful were Claudia’s post here and Bonne Marie’s instructions here. I also decided that I would probably go with Anne’s advice on hand sewing the zipper in since that would give me more control. I also liked Julia’s advice on knitting a facing to hide all the inside zipper stuff but then I read somewhere about sewing a ribbon over the inside part of the zipper and this seemed like the way to go.

I shortened the zipper and sewed the ribbon on the back. Then basted the front of the cardigan closed and basted the zipper to the inside of the sweater. Sewing the zipper to the sweater was a little difficult since I also had to be concerned with holding the ribbon out of the way – didn’t want to get that caught in the stitching since the whole idea of using the ribbon was to be able to hide all of the stitching which was holding the zipper down. Hand sewing was definitely the way to go as I think I may have been cursing the machine in this step. I stitched each side of the zipper down twice and then tacked the ribbon down which successfully neatened up the inside of the sweater.

And voila – isn’t it pretty!
It even works!

Now I laugh in the face of a zipper – I have conquered that mountain. Of course now I still have the pieces of this sweater to put together and guess what – I’m putting in another zipper!! Where’s my martini?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

349 - 147

I wish my mom was alive to see the results of the presidential election. I think I can safely say that she would have been proud of the choice that the American people have made.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Next in the ABC-Along

First things first - if you haven't voted yet - go out and do it! Now on to the next letter of my ABC Along.


Can you guess what one of my favorite colors is? I’ll give you some hints…

Green cup with orange swirls hand painted for me by my daughter at one of those pottery places.

Orange picture frame – hand painted by both my daughter and I (at same place, different time).

Orange sweater in progress.

Orange monkey socks – now finished and worn often.

My orange Wing of the Moth shawl – oh, how I love this one!!

Some orange yarn from my stash which may become this.

I think you may have guessed one of my favorite colors.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ok, I admit it. It has been way too long since I have posted. In the beginning it was problems with the computer but then the issue switched to my trying to decide whether I wanted to keep up with this blog. When I do post, I enjoy it but usually it is difficult to find the time. Yes, I know that is a bad excuse and I should be able to find some time to work on the blog. But if it means that it cuts into time for something else, well then I was thinking twice about it. There have been too many things that I have let go lately and I need to prioritize things a bit better.

I’m not ready to give this blog up entirely but obviously, I need a different plan. My new plan is to try and write a little bit during the day and then send it home for posting and adding pictures later. I’ll try that for a while and see how it works. For now, I give you the letter N.

I love going into New York City. There is always so much to see.

We can go to Broadway plays. These are the last two plays we saw: Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

The next one I am planning on seeing is Wicked - I'm reading the book now and it is fantastic.

New York City has Central Park and a statue of Balto.

In New York City, we can go to the American Girl Place for tea and then take a cab downtown for shopping in some great yarn and fabric shops. And there are always fun places to eat. Once in a while, we may see some out of the ordinary sites in New York City.

Want a closer look?

See why I love New York City!

Friday, August 15, 2008

M can only be one thing for me


"M" is for the million things she gave me,
"O" means only that she's growing old,
"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,
"H" is for her heart of purest gold;
"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,
"R" means right, and right she'll always be,
Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"A word that means the world to me.
--Howard Johnson (c. 1915)

I really love being a mom although I will admit that can be really hard work. I’m always wondering if I am doing the right things and there are many times when I wish I could ask my own mom how she did things when I was young. One thing I have learned is to go with my gut feeling - even if others are doing it, if it doesn't feel right to me, it probably isn't ok for us.

I've learned that I need a lot of patience and there are times when I am definitely better at practicing it than others. Sometimes I find myself being drawn into the world of an 8 year old and reverting back to that age myself. Then when we start arguing with each other, I need to remember to step back and ask myself – who is in charge here anyway!

I love making things for new moms. I think I enjoy baby sweaters because they take so much less time than adult sized sweaters. I just finished this for my neighbors’ soon to be granddaughter. It's a pattern from Monkeysuits and knit from Cascade 220 Superwash.

I've also finally finished putting the buttons on these two baby sweaters. I wonder why it takes me forever to do those last bit of finishing details - it seems that I'd rather start knitting something new. The sweater on the left is the Rocketry Baby Cardigan in Manos wool and the one on the right is made from Zealana wool/delaka blend (possum wool - cool, huh!) and is a great free pattern.

I’ll even do some baking for a soon to be mom. My daughter’s teacher was out on maternity leave this past year and the woman who came in to take her place was also pregnant. When she was leaving, the class threw her a shower and this was one of my contributions. Cupcakes from the book Hello Cupcake.
I had to make over 40 regular cupcakes and then the same number of small cupcakes. Every detail is edible - the little bottles are a mini marshmallow and a tiny chocolate candy coated kiss. Then you can add a little Teddy Graham for the baby's teddy bear. So cute and they were a big hit.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


There has been some sock knitting going on here.

Last week we went to a free outdoor concert/picnic at a local farm. It's the same farm I go to to pick berries and other fruit and it is a beautiful spot. Apparently they have these concerts almost every Tuesday during the summer and I hope to go to a few more. You can bring your own food and wine but they do have food for sale. Besides their regular collection of homemade sandwiches, salads and yummy baked goods, they coordinate a menu to go with the style of music that is being played. Last week it was fish and chips or bangers and mash to go along with an awesome Beatles tribute band - Abbey Rhode. The music was so much fun. As you can see, the kids thought so too!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Where is the summer going?

The summer seems to be just flying by. Is there some sort of time warp that happens as one gets older? Since I do have to work over the summer, I need to find fun camps for my daughter to attend. So far she has gone to art camps, horseback riding camp and now she is in Girl Scout camp. So far I have been very lucky since she likes going. My workplace and boss are a little flexible but I don't know what I would do if it was a struggle to get her off every day.

I still feel the need for some down time for both of us - it is the summer after all! So I have tried to take some time off for some summertime activities. Early in the summer we went camping with our Girl Scout troop.

The girls stayed in platform tents and the leaders had a one room cabin. I seemed to be the only one who was really excited at seeing the name of our camping area.

Does anyone else get it? Here's a clue - you might need to be a Harry Potter fan to get it. Yes, that's right - the Weasley's house was called The Burrow. Now maybe I amuse very easily, but I got a big kick out of staying in The Burrow.

We also spend time in New Jersey and one of the things we did was visit the lake that my sister and her family joined.

The kids loved playing in the water and the kayak was a big hit with everyone.

My daughter and I had a great time paddling around the lake. It always amazes me how much she can enjoy things and it makes it fun to do things together. My brother in law was awesome and took the kids out in the sailboat. It too was a big hit with my daughter.

This lake club also offers camping sites and we ended up camping there for two nights - another delight for my daughter but not quite as much for me. I didn't sleep all that well but was happy to be camping with adults that took their morning coffee as seriously as I do. I would have been a hurting girl if I hadn't been able to have my morning coffee.

This past weekend we took a quick trip out to the Cape - Wellfleet to be exact. I really wanted to check out the bike paths and the motel we stayed at was just off of one of the converted rails to trails. We also visited one of the ponds that exist in this area and, once again, had a fun time swimming and playing in the sand.

And yes, there has been some time for knitting but that will have to wait for another post. In the meantime, I will leave you with this awesome link - the Twist Collective premiere issue. I've just started looking through it and it is beautifully done. Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

L ...

We always hear that it is a good thing to keep learning new things. As we get older it's good to stimulate our minds, so go ahead and try that new lace pattern that looks a little difficult or take a class to learn a new skill. It's also important to exercise your body so maybe you want to learn a new sport. Recently, my daughter inspired me to relearn a skill - something I had done when I was younger but never very successfully.

That's a picture of my daughter since I can't take a picture of myself, but it's true - I am taking horseback riding lessons. I have taken two lessons so far - one on my own and one with my daughter. I think we will continue to take the lessons together - it's a bit cheaper and my daughter loves the idea of us doing this together.

I have never felt in control when I've been on a horse. When I would go on trail rides with my dad, I would get the horse that decided he wanted to go waist high into the lake to get a drink of water. Now is that the fault of the horse or the rider? Or maybe a combination of both. So, I decided to take some lessons and see what happens. It's a lot more work than I remember.

One other benefit - it seems to be great exercise for my legs since I can really feel it the next day. Either that or I am really out of shape which is a possibility too. So go ahead - learn something new. It may turn out to be just what you were looking for!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Contest Winners

Apologies once again for the unexpected absence. Once we got the hard drive replaced on the computer, we discovered that some of the software was missing so off went the computer again. Hopefully this is it for now and we won't have anymore problems.

My daughter has picked winners for the last contest. She had a hard time narrowing them down and finally settled on 4 winners which was more than I originally told her to have but that's ok. So, here they are (in no particular order):

1. Elaine from Knitting
2. Turtle from turtles lake knitting
3. Bronwyn from Knitting:Impossible
4. Blogless in NJ

Congratulations to all! Please email me at hoyerln at msn dot com and let me know your preferences - what you like to knit, colors you like. I'm not making any promises but I'd like to give you something you will use and love. Oh and be sure to include your address. I will be gone next week so I won't be getting back to anyone until after the 14th.

Thanks to everyone for playing along.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


First of all, apologies for the absence. The hard drive on our computer decided it didn't want to be with us anymore so we have been in repair and replace mode. Hopefully all is well now. And, in the next week we will announce the winner in the contest. My daughter has been having fun going through the comments. But today I will once again play catch up with the ABC Along - I'm up to K.

I chose this to display on my car because it means more to me than just knit 2 together. It also makes me think of the times I've sat and knit with friends. The times I've joined a KAL and there are many other knitters working on the same thing. Or the time when we all joined the Knitting Olympics and cast on for our projects at the same time. Or when we all pull together to help someone in need. Knitting together - and isn't that what it is all about!
And speaking of doing things together, click on over to Claudia's blog and make sure you donate towards her MS ride - it's coming up this weekend and there are prizes involved.

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Little Late with J

I've had this post ready in my mind the same day I posted for I, but haven't had a chance to sit down at the home computer and get it out. The story goes that I was cleaning out my cupboards and I came across this box. Now don't laugh...

My daughter loves this stuff. She's not the greatest eater - one might say that she is a little picky, but I have seen worse. We have this joke that when she was younger and we went to the Chinese buffet for dinner, all she would eat was the Chinese jello. Anyway, I saw the box and decided to make it for dessert that night. As I'm mixing it up, I'm wondering what I will do for my J post. Hey girl, it's right in front of me!

Now, some people might like to eat it like this, but I think it looks a little naked.

Ahh, that's much better!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This could be messy

I saw this sign at the local Wendy's and had the funniest pictures in my mind. My first thought was of the shakes being spun on a wheel, but I couldn't quite figure that out. And then of course it hit me - they must be using drop spindles. I think that would work better but it still could be messy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WIP Wednesday

1. Seraphim: I am still on the stockinette portion but goal is to finish up that part this week and start the first chart. I would have been farther along with this but I started the next two items.

2. Drive Thru: I try to make a new sweater for my daughter each year. At one time she had picked out some pinkish/purple Cascade 220 for this sweater but now she is into blues and wasn't too happy with what she had chosen earlier. What's a mom to do? So, I picked up some Ella Rae Classic at the local yarn shop and started this. Definitely more blue than the picture shows.

This is a child who knows what she wants and she has asked for a cardigan with a zipper (oh no, the dreaded zipper!). Anyway, I've started the body in the round with plans of steeking so I added 5 stitches which I have set off with markers and the 3 middle stitches I purl. This way I should be really clear where I need to cut. Do you think it will work?

3. Lace Ribbon Scarf: I have also started this in some Handmaiden Seasilk from the stash. It's a pretty easy pattern to remember and there is a KAL going on if you are interested.

If you don't know about the contest going on here at Knitting by the Sea, you can check out this post. Please enter if you'd like!