Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Gift Basket

This year I decided that my young nieces are young adults and forming their own tastes…and I don’t always keep up with those latest  likes and dislikes.  My solution…a gift basket of scarves that I had as models for my retail store…and I’m pleased to report the basket was success. Chloe and Shelby got to pick first because I celebrated Christmas with them at the family/friend ice-skating gathering in Dublin. Their mother, Sundee, got to pick too. Betsy got to pick on Christmas Day as did her mother and grandmother. The boys – Dan and Sam – got a “gift certificate” to go book shopping in a couple of weeks. It was great to see all the kids….and a joy to see what lovely people they have grown to be.

The Gift Basket

The Gift Basket

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Saturday morning had the last of the celebrations. Brunch which consisted of yet more great food and, in particular, Maurie and Diane outdid themselves with gluten-free desserts – brownies, gingerbread, and biscotti – delicious! Marsha brought an unusual fruit combo – pomegranite seeds, avocados, and grapefruit sections. I think we can look forward to a Skein Lane Holiday cook book with recipes from all of our gatherings.  No modesty here – we are as good as any TV food station. “Twas” a great time.

Not only did we eat…but we celebrated some knitting projects. Shari just finished her self-designed sweater. She was inspired by a Margaret O’Leary design that she had in her closet and loved. She used a different yarn…added some tucks in the mid-section to create shaping in the waist. This shaping was done with left and right twists.

Terry sent along this info re: her newly finished shell. “The stitch is called Cartridge Belt Rib.  I got it in my Encyclopedia of Knitting. It is a two-row pattern that  calls for multiples of 4 plus 3.  I added selvage stitches on both ends.  The first row (RS) is shown as knit 3, slip 1 with yarn in front, K 3.   The second row is knit 1, slip one with yarn in front, K3, slip one with yarn in front, K 1.  The slip stitches happen on the middle stitch of the K3 on the other row.   It is a reversible pattern.  The yarn is Cheesecake (silk and merino)  from Art Fiber in Pinole.

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More wrap-up!

The Friday group continued to celebrate with knitting and thoughtful gifts prior to heading out to  Skates on the Bay for the annual Christmas Holiday luncheon.

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Before the New Year arrives here are photos and thoughts from our pre-Christmas celebrations. The Thursday evening Knitting Workshop knitters celebrated the season on Dec 17. While it seems just the other day, it also seems like many days ago. Truly, this is the time of year when so many things and events start to roll into one. I’ve decided next year that we will do all of our events earlier in the month. Our Thursday and Saturday knitters began to feel the demands on their schedules…and thus not all were able to join. But not to worry…we will have a New Year’s celebration in January. Stay tuned for an Evite invitation.

While there were just a few of us for our Thursday celebration, there was no end to wonderful food and to knitting creativity. Dee’s delightful college-age daughter was home for the holidays and she joined us.

Helen in her slouch hat

Helen hosted this event…thank you! She’s wearing a slouch hat that she knit with Crystal Palace’s Taos yarn.  Helen also showed a beautiful Tripled Rib Stitch Scarf that she knit…she used two Crystal Palace (Mini Mochi) fingering weight yarns held together to create a dk-worsted weight yarn.

Peg and Carol showed their “Out of the frying pan” felted mitt potholders…watch out….we are inspired and I am sure many of you will receive felted mitts during this next year!

Carol and Peg

Carol and Peg - Knit felted oven mitts

Debbie was working on her I-Cord rug for her new home near Bodega Bay. She is having so much fun organizing and decorating her home. Please note that I have linked to I-Cord instructions that many of us found very good for the Moderne Baby Blankets that we knit.

Then we have Dee and her daughter.  Besides being a student, Sabetta knits and knits!  She showed us several scarves, shawls, and a vest that she knit for her father.

Photos of Sabetta and Dee to follow in separate post…some continued problems in posting photos….go to Jan 1, 2010.

And Dee showed us the benefits of using a “miner’s” light for seeing those stitches in dark yarns. I was kinda interested as I was knitting nephew Dan’s black scarf…but I felt all wrapped up.

Thank goodness the black scarf is done. All that is needed now is to block this 3 x 3 rib…a basic scarf style for a 15-y5 old.


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Merry Christmas

Santa and Carolyn

Santa and Carolyn

Good morning…have more pictures to post from Christmas celebrations…but oh woe…ran out of time…so more photos to follow between now and the New Year.

For now here’s an oldie…..me and Santa….I still remember that coat!

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We gathered to celebrate.

Kimberly - The Hostess

Kimberly - The Hostess

Kimberly once again generously hosted our annual Christmas Holiday celebration at her home. We gathered last Sunday at noon spurred by the opportunity to not only celebrate the season, but the deep bonds of friendship that have formed during the last few years…..and of course…the food. Kimberly served drinks and the traditional ham. She made a cranberry sauce that was more than delicious…cranberries and two kinds of mustard…one of the best I’ve tasted. Here are just a few of the potluck dishes that we brought to accompany the ham…..two dishes of potatoes, a vegetable cole slaw, a cranberry coleslaw, cheeses,  artichoke baked artichoke dip, chicken liver pate,  a spinach dish…..and I know I’ve forgotten several….and of course, there were several desserts. Oh, we do like to eat. We even found time to knit!

Janie brought some of her jewelry and some of us bought. I purchased earrings that were different for me…quite colorful….and lightweight. Will post that photo a little later.  Here’s Janie’s business site – Janie Rose

Two photographers = two photos! Love and gratitude to all!

Tomorrow: photos from two more knitting workshop celebrations.

The group sans Karen

The group sans Karen

The group sans Carolyn

The group sans Carolyn

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Diane with baby blanket

Diane recently finished her second baby blanket for a new addition to her boyfriend’s extended family. Her first was her rendition of the Moderne Baby Blanket. Her second baby blanket was another joy to knit…simple, quick and charming. I asked Diane for the details this evening.  Her answer is at the end of this post.

Isn’t it fun to see Eleanor admiring Diane’s work? It is truly a joy to witness how appreciative and supportive other knitters are of each other.

Not only does Diane knit…but she crafts  cards! Here is the card that accompanied this baby blanket.

Diane's crafted card

Diane's crafted card

Diane’s professional history includes that of being a pastry chef. That talent continues with her…right now she is crazed beyond belief with baking…she even gave up a few evenings of knitting to bake for this spiritual season. Note the response below!

And now Diane’s response to my request for info.

“I got the pattern from “Natural Knits For Babies and Moms” by Louisa Harding. It was the Blanket and Hat on page 39.  I chose it because it looked to be small enough for me to finish it in a short time. The width was for 18” and length 24”. I made it longer, and I would have made it wider if I had been thinking about it.  The yarn was Merino 5 by Crystal Palace Yarns. It was a 100% Superwash Merino Wool.

The pattern is very simple but pleasing to the eye. I did get the impression she loved it and appreciated my effort. I made the hat that went with the blanket, and I really did not like how I joined it, as I didn’t have my instructions with me to seam it, but I gave it anyway..figured the baby would out grow it very quickly!

My card making started about 5 years ago with Sally, and we still try to get together to make cards about once a month. The cards I make seem to be always so well received, and make me look like I am very creative, even tho it’s done with a template for the center. Anyway, I do love being able to use hand made cards as part of the gift.

I have a feeling that in this particular family knitted and crocheted gifts are taken care of, and passed from family member to family member. I happen to know that the bassinette is 73 years old, and still being used by the grandchildren who are now having babies.”

Diane, thank you!

Tomorrow I will tell you about my next major knitting ventures!

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A couple of weeks ago our Saturday morning knitting group went on a “field trip”. We traveled to Artfibers in Pinole and knit amongst the wonderful fibers. Some of us walked away with yarn for new projects. Diane and I looked, awed, and then sat down to knit on existing projects.

I am knitting a summer shell/tank out of MaggiKnits linen in dusty rose. Diane is knitting a stole with Queensland Collection’s Kathmandu in smoky gray (yarn available through Skein Lane Studio) – it is trimmed with Crystal Palace’s Waikiki in a deep vibrant blue. Will show both when completed. Notice the colorful quilt that is hanging on the wall behind of us. I emailed Rox of Artfibers last night and here’s her info on the beautiful quilt.

The quilt was designed and made by a good friend and wonderful quilter named Evelyn who lives in New Zealand.  On one of our trips to New Zealand, Evelyn gave me a sneak preview of a show where this quilt was being shown along with a series of others she had made on the theme of stained glass.  I fell in love with this piece.  She came to stay with us for a bit last spring and we
got the pleasure of showing her some of the wonders of the SF Bay area.  When she departed, she presented the quilt to us as a gift (made me cry!).   It is nice to have a large wall to show it on.  It’s a powerful piece that really adds so much to the ambiance of Artfibers!”

PJ is knitting a scarf for her son Sam – she is knitting it in Bouton d’or’s Ksar – the pattern Textural Scarf in Scarves by Judith. Check out the Ravelry link  http://www.ravelry.com/projects/PJKnitsUFOs/textural.

PJ did purchase some yarn, She bought 1300 yards of Tsuki, a silk/mohair laceweight that she plans to carry along with some merino that she purchased when when traveled in New Zealand. Her thought is she will make a cardigan, but so far she has only swatched and sketched. Words directly from PJ.

It was a fun time knitting and shopping (for some) at Artfibers. We will journey there again.

Carol had fun selecting new yarn and then relaxed as you can see in the last photo.

Nina and Terry were off shopping when these photos were taken!

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