. Christmas Sweaters


Christmas Sweaters

Category: sweater

I spent Christmas in upstate New York this year, with Brooks’ lovely family. After almost 11 hours of travel (thank you, holiday traffic), I was greeted by three enthusiastic Labradors and a plate of homemade cookies! Their tree was all lit up, the Christmas music was playing — this family knows how to really celebrate. They also have “cozy” all figured out. Brooks’ dad, in particular, has a stunning collection of warm sweaters:


Aren’t they glorious? Brooks’ mom estimates that his dad may have close to 30 sweaters (the one at the lower right with the beautiful colorful trim around the neck is hers). She knit the one at the lower right! At the far top left is a handknit beauty direct from Norway that I did some repairs on this summer. As I went to unpick the collar, I discovered that the original knitter had done an extremely good job in weaving in her ends — it took me 15 minutes to find the end, and another 15 minutes to unpick it.

Now that Christmas is over, we can finish up our late Christmas gifts start new projects for ourselves! Wouldn’t a gorgeous colorwork sweater be perfect for the chilly, gray months to come? I hope that you all had a lovely holiday and that 2017 brings you lots of joy and happiness! Starling the Labrador reminds you to stay cozy!


In Search of Inspiration for Baby Projects

Category: sweater

I have a printed copy of an internet meme hanging on my whiteboard above my desk at work, and another copy stuck to my fridge at home. On days when I’m struggling with procrastination, or mornings when I’m feeling sluggish and uninspired, it gives me a boost. What is this magical motivational poster, you ask? Well, it looks like this:



Now you know what gets me moving. It came from the internet. The fact that the shark hat is crocheted makes it even better, because I know that someone out there took the time to make a shark hat for their kitty (or sure, for a baby, but let’s be honest, cats in hats are pretty amazing).

This weekend, I definitely felt like a powerful Great White Shark — I finally finished repairing Brooks’ dad’s sweater! I wound in the final ends, checked everything over, and packaged it up. Success! An item checked off the knit list! Fellow crafters, you know the satisfaction I felt when I officially declared it done. Is there any better feeling?

Now I get to cast on my capelet figure out what to make for a baby that is due in early September. I want it to be something fun but also practical, because this is a Maine baby. With that in mind, this is one of the potential items:


© Pam Allen


Is this not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen? Possibly even cuter than a cat wearing a shark hat? This is the Baby Duck Booties pattern from Quince & Co., and it makes me want to just squeal with delight. The toddler size (which I would have to make, because I knit slowly and babies grow so quickly) uses Chickadee, a sport weight yarn. I think I’d change up the color of the sole, because white would get dirty really quickly, but we’ve got plenty of colors to choose from in the store. I have also pondered trying to size this up to make a cozy pair of slippers for myself, perhaps using plushy, aran weight Osprey. (Non-slip paint or a suede sole would be a necessary safety feature.)





© Espace Tricot

I’ve also considered a blanket for the heirloom factor, and because the sizing is less crucial (ditto for the gauge — score!). But there are so. many. baby blankets out there. Ravelry offered me 168 PAGES of knitted blanket patterns when I searched. After enjoying working on the ZickZack Scarf, I’m tempted to tackle the Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot, though probably in Berroco Vintage instead of cotton, because this is a fall/winter baby. However, if I continue procrastinating on this project, I may end up needing to choose Softcotton Chunky for a quick knit summer blankie!





Of course, there’s always the sweater option. I think I’ve already mentioned that I love designs by Tin Can Knits, and they don’t make it easy to choose. I’m torn between two patterns: Old Growth and Goldfish. Which one do you prefer?


© Tin Can Knits


This is Old Growth, and I love the off-center buttons and fun tree motif. It’s classic, elegant, and seamless!








© Tin Can Knits


And this is Goldfish — adorable, fun, quirky, and also seamless. With a slightly tonal yarn for the main color… this could be the one.








What do you think, readers? Booties, blanket, or sweater? What’s your go-to item to knit when someone is expecting? As soon as I have a pattern, I’ve got to channel my inner shark and attack the project!





Red, White & Blue

Category: sweater

My holiday weekend was red, white and blue, but not necessarily in the traditional patriotic sense. Three day weekends can feel like the greatest luxury — I had time to get things done around the house, but also time to relax and enjoy the beauty of Midcoast Maine. I’m about ready to suggest that all weekends be three days long!


Photo by Brooks Winner

I’m pleased to be able to say that the “red” of my weekend was not a lobster-like sunburn, but was instead a wonderful strawberry picking adventure. We picked over 20 pounds of organic strawberries at Sheepscot General Store, on a perfect, breezy day. I definitely see a strawberry-rhubarb-blueberry pie in my future, but at the time, I had a terrible craving for strawberry shortcake, so we stopped at Beth’s Farm Market in Warren. No one does strawberry shortcake like the people at Beth’s! We’ll be spending the rest of the week processing the strawberries and freezing them for a delicious burst of summer flavor in February.

The “white” of my weekend was the pasty whiteness of my legs, as I wore shorts for the first time this summer. Boy howdy, am I white. (No, I’m not going to post a photo to prove it.) I think I might glow in the dark. But I believe in sunscreen (70 SPF? Bring it on), and managed to maintain my ghostly appearance despite the truly marvelous summer sunshine. I also swam at my favorite swimming hole, and spent time reading outdoors. It really was “the way life should be”.


Photo by Benggriff from Wikimedia Commons

The “blue” part was the blue of Rockport Harbor, the blue of the sky, and the blue of the sea glass I found. Dear friends from high school invited us to join them on a little private beach on the harbor, and we caught up, beach combed, and ate freshly picked strawberries while we watched the waves crash on the rocks. What a beautiful state Maine is!

The last part of my weekend was red, white & blue and knitted all over: I’m repairing an old, beloved sweater for Brooks’ dad. The sweater really is red, white & blue, but fortunately for me, none of the colorwork needs replacing. Instead, I’m fixing the collar and cuffs, which are showing the wear and tear of many winters of use. I meant to have a photo to show all of you, but I left home without it this morning. All of the sunshine this weekend must have melted my brain!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that you’re feeling refreshed and ready to embrace this week! Thanks also to those who commented on last week’s post about knitting in public — I really enjoy hearing your perspectives!