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Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

I made and gifted several of these sweaters but I wanted to make one more for a dear friend, Alicia, as a sincere “thank you” for helping me adopt my new pup, Fozzie.  Fozzie has brought happiness into my home again after losing my beloved 14-year-old Edgar.

Alicia helps foster rescued German Shepherds and Miniature Pinschers as that is what her pack consists of.  She was a wealth of tips and ideas to help me get through the tough adjustment period for both dogs (Fozzie and Gonzo).  You see, all of her kids and fosters are rigorously trained.  But one special girl of hers is also an actress and has performed as “Bruiser” in a stage production of Legally Blonde.  She is aptly named “Diva” and she is the sweetest little thing who during her last visit to my home did nothing but snuggle with me.  She actually convinced me I could adopt a small dog… and in her own way helped me to adopt my Gonzo.

This special girl deserved a pink sweater… to get over her gender bending role.  Her Mom picked out the center panel of the Bon Bon cable, provided measurements and kept telling me how much Diva loved her sweaters and coats.  It took some time to complete as it was over the summer months but she finally received it in the mail… and had a fashion shoot!  Here she is in her hand knit sweater!

Miss Diva in her new pink sweater… center panel Bon Bon cable.

Side view showing side cable and moss stitch. This sweater was super easy and adaptable.

She makes it look good, don’t you think?!  Wear it in good health, Diva!

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Well, the winter being as big, bad, and ugly as it was… it did give me plenty of time to knit!  I made four more of the dog sweaters from my last post but changed out the center panel cable with different designs just to keep it interesting.

Here is the original honeycomb:

Now for Hugs n’ Kisses:

Then I had a couple of adorable girls to knit for… so I found the Bon Bon:

But there were challenges… here is my view of “knitter’s block”:

But I do have to thank my wonderful, patient, and loving model, Gonzo:

XOXOXO

 

 

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A recent shopping trip in Coolidge Corner had me shopping in the most wonderful store!  It is not often that I find a store that I can pick up a gift for just about anybody I know… all in one place!  What is better?  It is for a great cause.  Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade store filled with handmade art, home goods, sculpture, pottery, fine goods… and so much more.  The fair trade mission helps disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.  From their website: “The product sales help pay for food, education, healthcare and housing for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.”  Talk about doing good for others and getting gifts for friends in the process.  Two birds!

While I normally support local small business owners sometimes it is not as easy to find that perfect something in a hurry.  Here, it was deciding what to buy and keep within my budget.  As I told my friend who introduced me to this wonderful store… “This is a great place to spend money!”

Each purchase comes with a bit of history about the artist and the country of origin.  My purchases included this hand embroidered silk scarf from India… it caught my eye as soon as I walked through the door.  My other purchase (for myself) was this wonderful mobius style sculpture from Kenya entitled “Unity”.  This is carved from a single piece of soapstone.  The simplicity of the piece called to me.

During these times of trimming the fat and tightening the belt I find that doing the most good is worth the little extra you may pay here.  There was another purchase but I cannot reveal it until it has been given… but it was just simply perfect for the recipient!

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I have been making mittens (complete over the fingers) for many years and even have made adult sizes since some people like the reminder of childhood… it dawned on me to simply not finish all the decreases at the top and you would have finger-less mittens.  After a few trial and error disasters… I came up with this pattern.  They are meant to be a bit roomy and long so that they will go over a long-sleeved shirt or even coat.  But the fingers are free to type away. 

What is really nice… they are made on 2 needles so no more knitting in the round (4 needles) which has always been a pet peeve of mine.  Simply knit, sew and away you go!  Size can be adjusted by increasing/decreasing stitches proportionally and also by using larger/smaller needles.  This is a great weekend project and an appreciated gift item!

Materials: 1 double skein of your favorite (soft) knitting worsted yarn.  (2 skeins of 100 grs).  Straight Needles in sizes US 7 (4.5 mm) and US 8 (5.00 mm) or size to obtain gauge.  If beginner, two stitch markers.

Gauge: 20 sts = 4″; 28 rows = 4″ in regular stockenette stitch on larger needles.

To Knit (Make 2): With smaller needles, cast on 66 sts. Ribbing Row 1 (RS): K2b, *p2, k2b, rep from * across.  Row 2: P2, *k2b, p2b, rep from * across.  Repeat these 2 rows until piece measures 2″ from beginning, end on RS. Change to larger needles and p the next row, dec 16 sts (k2 tog) across – 50 sts.  Work even in st st until piece measures 10″ from beg, end on WS.

Dec Row (RS): K1, ss K1 psso, k to last 3 sts, k2 tog, k1 – 48 sts.  Rep this dec every 4th row 3 times more – 42 sts. Work even until piece measures 10″ from beg (or length desired), end on WS.

Thumb Gusset (RS): K20, place marker, m1k, k2, m1k, place marker, k 20 – 44 sts.  WS: p across. RS: K20, increase 1 st after 1st marker and before 2nd marker – STOP.  WS: p across to marker. Continue knitting gusset only in same fashion until 12 sts between markers.  Start thumb ribbing.  K2b, *ps, k2b, rep from * across gusset only for 5 rows.  Bind off.

Remaining Mitten (RS): Pick up knitting after thumb in st st to end.  WS: P20, cast on 2 sts, p20. Change to smaller needles and work even in ribbing same as beg for 1 1/2 “, end WS. Bind off.

Finishing: Sew side seam and thumb.

                 

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Recently I had a bit of bad luck in the health department and a visit to the emergency room and lots of sick time from work I was quite down and worried about getting back to the job.  As things stood, it was going to be at least a week for recovery.  Just when cabin fever was at an all time high… the doorbell rang and all my pals at work sent me something that made me smile. 

I have never seen so much happiness stuffed into a vase in all my life.  It was summer, fresh air and color all wrapped into one.  I loved it and it was so thoughfully sent and wonderfully received that I had to share!

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Just a quick post to celebrate the woman who means the most to me… my Mom!  I love you!!

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Another Christmas gift was this rustic pitcher.  This is a hand thrown pot, made by an octogenarian in New Hampshire, holds a simple form and wonderful glaze that is sure to catch the eye.  When it was gifted to me, it was thought to make a great accent to my garden… I am not sure I want to expose it to the elements just yet.  Currently it is holding a place of honor on the mantel! 

Hand Thrown Pitcher

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