Archive for November, 2010


In the early summer, when I was in the midst of all that lovely garter stitch knitting, I had the dream of this shawl.

When I went to the TNNA in June I found the perfect yarn for it… Isager Alpaca 2.

But the yarn didn’t arrive at my LYS until September! What a wait!

Anyways, I designed the shawl in honor of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s 100th birthday.

here’s a little bit of what I was thinking….

The Name:
9 August 2010 marked  the 100th birthday of Elizabeth Zimmerman, the woman who changed the face of knitting in America and if I can be so bold as to make such a broad statement, the face of modern knitting. Some may dispute this, but it is my opinion that without the influence of Elizabeth Zimmermann knitting wouldn’t have made such resurgence in America, which led to a boom in the knitting industry, which led to all sorts of wonderful things, even things like the online knitting community.

That aside, if you begin to read a few of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books, you begin to realize she was very fond of the knit stitch, and, thus garter stitch.

I thought it would be fun to design a shawl in honor of EZ’s birthday utilizing only the knit stitch. When I was all done, I realized it looked like you had some purl rows thrown in even though you had knit every row.  I was so pleased with my efficiency.

So, my dear Elizabeth, master of us all, this one is for you. I think you would have liked this shawl, knitting every row with the end result being reversible. Happy Birthday!

So here it is my friends, finally ready for you.

You can find it over on Ravelry!

Happy Knitting!


Cully’s Sweater

I loved knitting Cully’s Sweater (Knitting Around pg 127). I absolutely loved it. In fact, I kind of wish I had made a big sweater because it was over before my love affair with it had finished.

Even though I was extremely disappointed with my choice of yarn (Rowan Pure Wool DK – I should have used something sticky because I was steeking) I love the results!

I choose to knit a cardigan – they are easier to put on little ones I think. And I also choose to knit a “dashing scarlet trim” for the edging. When Elizabeth Zimmermann puts it that way, “dashing scarlet trim”, how can you not knit a dashing scarlet trim – it just sounds so lovely and exotic!

This is definitely a sweater I will come back to and make again – it was absolutely lovely to knit.

Meanwhile I get to admire it on my little wee man.

Doesn’t he look pleased as punch with it?


The Norwegian Sweater ie Cully’s Sweater

It’s like night and day around here.

All fall we were a little tense gearing up for Laura’s surgery – and now that she’s home I’ve been giddy with happiness.

My family has so much to be thankful for… my sister is baking a ton of pies and is planning on delivery them to the Riley ICU nurses Thanksgiving Day. Isn’t that sweet? I’m heading over this morning to help with some of the baking…

Meanwhile, I’ve been knitting away on the next project.

I really wanted to make this sweater for my husband. However, I have been spending quite a bit of money on this Knitting Zimmermann project. So in the view of economy, I’m making it for Baby John.

The Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool DK – at first I was happy with my choice. However, when it has come to steeking I used my favorite – the crochet steek – and I regretted this yarn choice. It started to unravel! So I quickly got out a needle and thread.

The lesson – if you want to crochet steek : USE STICKY WOOL!

Needles: US #5 – pretty happy with the gauge and the final outcome.

I’ll keep you posted….

Laura’s Home

Laura came home last night! I cannot even put into words how happy that made me! Talk about relieved and deliriously happy! It seems like a miracle after all the scares we had.

Her next surgery is scheduled for January but shouldn’t be so scary. The time gap will allow her to gain weight and recover.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers!


Pi R Square Shawl

It’s hard not to think or talk about anything else but Little Laura – but I suppose I must.

(BTW: Laura is still in ICU, struggling with breathing and maintaining oxygen levels on her own. However, as of Sunday afternoon she was doing better!)

I finished my monster of a Pi R Square shawl! I think the reason I considered it a monster was because I choose Icelandic Roving as my fiber. I don’t think I would do that again. After awhile I got really bored with it – it was too hairy.

Also I choose to begin the project using 1 strand of Icelandic Roving and #5 needles! Oh, my… that took forever.

By the time I got to 48 rows I decided to graduate my needles up to a #9, therefore my bottom 48 rows creates more of a ruffle. I actually rather like that.

I learned a lot about simple shawl shaping while I knit this… and my imagination ran wild with variations.

But, on the whole… I’m glad I’m moving on to the next project…. The Norwegian Sweater!

Little Laura

Good news and bad new arrived from the ICU.

The good news is that Laura’s heart seems to be doing well. ah!

The bad news is that she’s having some respiratory difficulties – her right lung partially collapsed…

The up and down cycle of her recovery continues.

I have been thinking of her all the time… it’s hard not to.

And being desperate to DO something, I started knitting her socks. It won’t help at all in her recovery – but at least it is something I can do with my constant thinking about her….

Thank you all for your kind and encouraging comments. They are so helpful during this time!



Little Laura had a set back.

8:30 this morning she stopped breathing and had what appears to be a small seizure.

She’s back on the ventilator and they are running tests…

I feel selfish asking for your continued prayers – especially when there are so many that are going through rough times right now. But she’s a precious little girl and we all love her so much…

Pi R Square Shawl Finished

The beautiful monster is finished.

Last night, after writing my previous post, I was suddenly stricken in my conscience. How in the world could I have cast on for the next project without finishing the one on my needles (yes, yes, we do it all the time don’t we?).

But this Knitting Zimmermann project is different. I CAN’T do that. I SHOULDN’T do that. Let’s just mark it up to extreme stress.

So I got out my good old French press, ground some coffee and set it brewing. Then I downloaded an easy-listening M.C. Beaton Hamish McBeth mystery from the library and settled myself in my studio and told myself I wasn’t going to sleep until I was finished.

4 hours later the pot of coffee was drained, I was almost done with the Death of a Valentine, I was seriously buzzed BUT I was finished with the Pi R Square Shawl.

I don’t feel like my Pi is a masterpiece. But really appreciated learning new techniques (simple though they may be) about shawl shaping.

It’s dark again and not a good time for taking pictures. So pictures will follow.

BTW: Little Laura is off her ventilators and breathing on her own as of this afternoon. We are hoping and praying that this continues. She will remain in the ICU several more days before being transfered to a normal ward – if all goes well.


Today was a trial of patience.

While waiting for updates on Little Laura I cleaned my house from top to bottom amidst the cries and wails of little John – he hates it when I clean and much prefers it when I play with him. I just couldn’t sit still… I couldn’t do anything but clean, clean, clean.

Finally the news came that Little Laura had made it through the surgery! Ah, what sweet relief.

However, because of her weak heart (cardiomyopathy) she is still sedated and on a ventilator. The next 24 hours are crucial… the waiting continues…

P.S. dare I admit it to you all? I am down to the neck edging on the Pi R Square Shawl. However, because I am so tense right now I just had to start the next project. Yes… I started in on the Norwegian Sweater and I’m loving every minute I work on it!

Laura’s Update

Several of you asked about little Laura, my niece, so I thought I would give a brief update.

Her open heart surgery to fix her holes in her heart is this coming Monday, 8 November 2010. We are rejoicing that she has made it this far.

However, she has struggled to gain weight as she awaited surgery. After being hospitalized and tests run to make sure she has no feeding problems, a NG tube was inserted into her nose and that is how my sister feeds her. With this method she has gained weight! She is now a whopping 11 lbs 4 oz! We are all really relieved by this!

You can keep up with Laura’s little journey over on my sister’s blog Blackberry Rambles. I’ll try to post a few updates – although next week will be busy as my mom, my younger sister and I chip in to watch Laura’s four other siblings!

Thank you for inquiring about Laura’s progress! That mean’s a lot to me and to my family!

happy knitting!