Diamond Fantasy Shawl Commences

A couple weeks ago, when I was blog surfing, I spotted Ronnie's Diamond Fantasy Shawl and immediately loved it. Ronnie and I have had a friendship for several years now. I think it started back with my first Monkey Sock Swap. I personally picked her as my Monkey Pal because we shared a love of great classic literature, among many other things. Ronnie lives in England and my greatest love is British literature.

At any rate, after admiring her gorgeous Diamond Fantasy Shawl she surprised me by gifting me with my own copy of the pattern. Isn't she a sweetheart?

Despite promises to myself to NOT cast on anything new I could not resist. I thought I would just knit a few rows with some leftover Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn but had no idea how addicting lace knitting was! I think I am about to enter into the addiction of shawl knitting. Yep, looks like my sock drawer is full enough for a while.....

It is very difficult to take accurate photographs of anything red. This brilliant ruby colored yarn is stunning in real life but looks a little streaked in this photo.

I've finished one repeat of the shawl. I think I'm going to have to find some more yarn in this colorway because I absolutely love it.

Out of curiosity, how many of you put lifelines in your shawl? Do you think it is necessary if you are faithful to count the stitches after every row? This is my first shawl so I don't know these things. I've just been admiring all of YOUR shawls for years now.


Baby Dale Sweater ALMOST Crosses Finish Line!

After missing the deadline of my great-niece's first birthday, the Baby Dale Yoke sweater has languised away in a basket. Actually, I don't think it was the deadline that made me put her aside but a buttonband issue. A distant memory of buttonholes that were too small comes to mind. At any rate, I mailed Baby Kate another present and promised myself to rework the buttonhole band in hopes of getting this sweater to her before she outgrew it.

Kate's Baby Dale almost crossed the finish line this afternoon! Almost? Have you noticed the cute little flower buttons I sewed on? One....two.....three.....four.....five...... WHERE IS NUMBER SIX? In her months of hibernating in the basket the sixth button has walked away and cannot be found.

Do you see the teensy button at the top of this sweater? It is temporarily holding button #6's place in line. I'm off on a button hunt............................... and if the missing culprit cannot be found then I will venture out to the fabric store in hope that they will still have some of these buttons left. Now, if only I could remember which fabric store I got them at......................


My First Baby Surprise Jacket

The past couple years I have observed little Baby Surprise Jackets popping up all over knitting blogland. I wasn't particulary enamored with the pattern. I thought it looked rather plain. But then when I read repeated posts boasting of the ingenuity of the pattern and noticed that knitting only ONE Baby Surprise Jacket didn't seem to quench the knitting appetite of the blogger ...... well, I decided to see what all the hype was about.

The pattern was designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann in 1968 as she anticipated her first grandchild, Cully. I really do think it is true that it has taken on almost legendary status. On Ravelry it is the most popular baby pattern and the current tally there is 3,978. And, upon my completion the number is 3,979!

Being a creation of Elizabeth Zimmermann's, it is indeed ingenious! I am filled with admiration and respect for the genius that went into this creation. She is brilliant and I confess that I am now a Zimmermaniac. In Elizabeth's own words, "I call it the 'Surprise Jacket' because it looks like nothing on earth when you have finished knitting it." Although I took no photograph of this knitting blob, I can assure you it is true. In fact, if I had not been using the Baby Surprise Jacket DVD as my tutorial, I'm not sure I would have been able to put it into its little jacket state.

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport (Lake Huron)

Needles: 5.0 mm Inox Circular

BTW, Meg Swanson does an excellent job walking the knitter through the knitting and construction of this little jacket. I highly recommend purchasing this DVD. It includes Meg's own fabulous tidbits and some other variations of the jacket which you will be seeing on my blog in the future. What's that? Yep, ONE Baby Surprise Jacket is not going to be enough for me either! Bring on the babies!


Red, Ripe Strawberries

One of the most enjoyable aspects of summer for me is the abundance of fruit. I especially love red, ripe strawberries! Unfortunately, berries are not plentiful in my state so I am resigned to buy mine in the grocery store. Where do you purchase yours? Do you go to the farmer's market or are you fortunate enough to be able to grow your own strawberries? Lucky you!

When I saw the photograph below it reminded me of a book that I used to read my girls when they were young called, The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. Ohhh, how that bear loved red, ripe strawberries! The big, hungry bear could smell a red, ripe strawberry a mile away......... In this story the mouse cuts the strawberry in two and shared half with the bear.
How do you like to feast on your strawberries? My father-in-law likes his over crumbled up pie crust. I grew up eating mine on little sponge shortcakes. My husband likes his over ice cream or angel food cake. I, on the other hand, if I'm not popping them in my mouth in their natural state enjoy them most spooned over pound cake and topped with whipped cream.

A dear friend gave me the following pound cake recipe years ago and I would like to share it with you.
Lizbet's Cream Cheese Pound Cake

3 sticks softened butter

8 oz cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

3 cups flour

6 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Add flour and eggs alternately. Spoon into a floured bundt pan.

Bake at 300 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.


Fruit Hat Trio

I have had this adorable Ann Norling Fruit Hat pattern for a couple years now. When my niece's newborn outgrew the outfit that I procrastinated mailing, I decided it was about time to knit her a cute little fruit hat.

When I discovered how much fun this pattern was to knit, I decided all THREE of her little munchkins needed their own fruit hats! Perhaps I will become the eccentric great-aunt in our family knitting all the children fruit hats because this pattern is FUN to knit!

Maybe I have eccentricity on my mind because I knit these whilst watching a few Agatha Christie Miss Marple movies. Did you know that Jane Marple was a knitter? There were several comments made throughout the movies drawing attention to this fact. At any rate, I'm not quite as old as Miss Marple but I am acquiring numerous great nephews and great neices that need their wee heads covered. Unfortunately, most of them live in warmer southern climates.
Please forgive the mishapen appearance of these hats. I tried taking photos of them on top of toilet paper rolls but those ended up looking like toilet paper covers instead of hats. I'm sure they will look quite delightful when worn on the noggins they were intended for. I'm hoping their mother will send me a photograph!