Monkey Stitch Marker

In ages past I have hosted several Monkey Sock Swaps that have been tons of fun. We knit and exchange Cookie A.'s Monkey Sock and throw a few monkey items in the package for kicks. I love receiving gifts and generally could never wait to get home to open the package properly with camera in hand. Instead, I ripped into the package then and there.

This past week the husband and I drove down to Texas to visit my family for Thanksgiving. We almost always fly because it is such a long, boring drive but on this occasion we drove. I spent two days packing up several knitting projects, six to be exact. I always spend more time packing the "fun" things and sometimes end up unprepared in the area of clothing when the climate changes wherever I'm visiting. But, when faced with three long days in the car six projects sounded reasonable.

As I was lifting up the seatbelt to get back into the car on one of our rest stops, my eye caught the eye of a teensy monkey face staring back up at me from under the car seat. What the heck? To my surprise it was an adorable monkey stitch marker that could have only come from a monkey sock package. One of my six monkey pals must have given it to me and in my avarice of tearing into wrapping paper it must have fallen out! Imagine my delight in finding him!

Now I really must find out WHO gave this to me! Does it look familiar to anyone? Isn't it just the cutest little stitch marker? Please let me know so I can thank you properly!


Mittens with CATS

After seeing Kathy's lovely Moose Loves Roses Mittens, designed by Jorid Linvik, I went in search of Jorid's patterns on Ravelry have been completely smitten by her mitten designs!

This pattern is called Mittens and Hats with CATS and I couldn't resist casting on last night. I found the pattern very addicting and hope to share a completed pair of mittens with you in a few days.

I'm knitting the mittens using stash sock yarn and 2.5mm needles. They are a little snug but that suits me just fine. My hands are on the small side and I almost inevitably struggle with mittens and gloves that are too large.

Sockdown: November!

I tried to knit TOE UP SOCKS for the November Sockdown Ravelry. Really, I did. Unfortunately, I just did not enjoy the process and decided that knitting socks this way was just not for me! So, my Kaffe Fassett yarn is in the process of being knit into some plain vanilla socks and I've cast on with different yarn for the November Sockdown Ravelry challenge. Taking on the challenge of knitting a slip-stitch pattern, I chose the MAD COLOR WEAVE pattern by Tina Lorin.

After choosing the pattern, I happened to be reading blogs and saw Pat's beautiful version using Lorna Laces Sportweight. She told me they knit up pretty quickly on 2.75mm needles so I thought that would help me with the time crunch!

I had a bit leftover from my Baby Surprise Jacket and will order another skein. This yarn is wonderfully soft!


Lucky Penny Coat

Last Sunday afternoon I knit my teacup poodle, Snooks, a little indoors dog sweater.
He wasn't much in the mood for a photo shot this morning as he lay snug in his bed. The best I could do was to get him to stand up momentarily but he wasn't about to let me pose him in any more pictures.
The husband told me that when he took Snooks outside in sub-freezing temperatures to take care of business, the pooch looked at him like, "Why didn't she make this sweater any longer! It's too short!" I informed the hubby that it was an indoor sweater and was supposed to be short. The daughter thought the sweater looked a little effiminate for a boy dog and I reminded her that Snooks is a teacup poodle and most people don't even consider him a dog!

I personally think the pooch really likes the comfortable armholes. And, who would not love this yummy Lorna Laces Worsted yarn, even if you are of a canine variety?

By the way, this is the Little Penny Sweater from Doggie Knits by Corinne Niesnerr.



What's this? TWO tales of the Sock Knitters Anonymous Challenges going untold? With my recent sweater obsession my socks have gone neglected and unfinished. The November Sockdown Ravelry Challenge is underway and I still have not finished the challenge from October! And, I might as well confess that my pair of October Mystery socks have gusset stitches to be picked up! I really need to get all three pairs finished this by the end of the month. Fortunately, I will have a road trip to Texas in a couple weeks with lots of time to knit in the car.

The October sock challenge was to pick a Stephanie van der Linden pattern. This is a new designer for me. The minute I saw the Lizzy pattern I thought of my daughter Jennifer and knew the socks would be destined for her feet. I'm not sure if it was the celtic lace knotwork or the 'whiteness' of the legs on the model. Or perhaps it was because the sock on the model was knit in her favorite color, blue, and I remembered some blue yarn I had bought for her when I first started knitting. Whatever it was....these Lizzy socks will be for Jen-Jen.

Pattern: Lizzy by Stephanie van der Linden
Yarn: Brownsheep Wildfoote in Peasant Blue
Needles: 2.25mm

The Loopy Ewe had a sale on Regia yarn last weekend and I jumped at the opportunity to purchase some Kaffe Fasset yarn. I always love his colors and this 'Canyon' colorway is no exception. Isn't it lovely?

Because I did not want to obscure the colors I decided this needed to be a plain vanilla sock. Then, I remembered that Wendy D. Johnson was one of the designers we could choose for the November Sockdown Ravelry. Having read her blog for several years, I knew Wendy to be a a toe-up girl so I picked one of her basic toe-up patterns. This one will have a gusset.

Here is the start of a toe! It is always exciting to learn something new, isn't it? BTW, did I mention that I started the My First Toe Ups group several Socktoberfests ago to learn how to knit toe-ups? That blog isn't very active anymore because we have a group on Ravelry. With the hustle and bustle of managing the participants, I never learned.

Now I have a question for YOU - which method do YOU prefer? Cuff down or toe up? If you are a toe-up fan can you tell me why you prefer this method?


Mara KAL

The MARA Yahoo Group started a Fall/Winter KAL a couple weeks ago. Participants could pick any pattern from Alice Starmore's Fisherman Knits book, one of her few books still in print. I have missed several other knitalongs with these nice ladies and have regretted it. I've generally had 'something on the needles' and couldn't justify casting on another project. Well, it has only taken me a few years to realize that if I hadn't done this I would now have a lovely Marina sweater, Mara sweater and Oregon sweater in my wardrobe!
I have long admired the Inishmaan sweater design and knew this would be my pattern choice for the knitalong. I am thouroughly enjoying knitting this sweater. In fact, I'm forcing myself to put it aside every day to work on other knitting projects. I've never enjoyed a pattern this much and don't think I will have any problems finishing this by mid-February.

The Starmore patterns are incredibly well designed and this one is no exception. I love the ribbing on this one and how the little honeycomb cable extends up into the sweater body. The cables have been easy to memorize with the exception of the center cable.
I'm giving myself a special treat tonight as I watch the election returns and devoting myself fully to this lovely Inishmaan!