Knitting up a Storm

What a long winter this has been! We’ve had record cold and record snowfall this year. What’s a girl to do but knit?

Searching for inspiration.

Searching for inspiration.

I’ve been told that once you reach 45 years, your body tolerates 1 degree less every year after. I used to ski when it was -5 F. Now I knit. I recently finished a baby sweater for a friend who is expecting. It is an Elizabeth Zimmerman (EZ) pattern, the Baby Surplice Jacket. EZ pioneered a knitting method where you knit a swatch, count your stitches, measure what you are planning to knit, and do the math to fit your gauge. And she has designed many wonderful seamless baby sweaters using garter stitch which is stretchy, warm and grows with your baby.

Baby Surplice Jacket.

Baby Surplice Sweater.

As of April 30, we have received 123 inches of snow in Northwest Wisconsin. This record snowfall shattered the previous record of 107 inches. I often said to myself “Too cold to ski today. Tomorrow it supposed to be 17, so I will ski tomorrow,” only to find it snows all day tomorrow, and temps are below zero the next day. So I continue to knit.

One of my favorite projects was the Blooming Flowers mitten pattern I found on Ravelry.com, a fantastic knitting forum. I downloaded the free pattern, only to find it was written in Swedish. So I copied and pasted it into Google Translate (who knew there was such a thing!) It gave me a sketchy but somewhat discernible idea of where to begin. Who knew that the Swedes knit in laps instead of rounds and used sticks instead of needles!

Blooming Flowers mittens.

Blooming Flowers mittens.

Today is May 4th, and snow still lingers in the yard. I have managed to stay healthy all winter, but today the sun is shining, it is warm, and I am sick with some sort of spring crud. So I continue to knit. There are other things I should do, like clean the house, grocery shopping, homework. But I don’t feel good, so I think I’ll knit.

Knitted and felted slippers.

Knitted and felted slippers.

Booties from vintage 1950s Patons pattern.

Booties from vintage 1950s Patons pattern.

Cookies and Knitting

I just returned from visiting my sister in Maryland. I was making cookies. 15,300, to be exact. 4200 fudgy brownies, 5600 biscotti and 5500 chocolate chip. Needless to say, I won’t be eating a chocolate chip cookie for awhile. Why on Earth was I doing that, you ask? My sister, who has a more than full time real job also owns a catering business. She was contracted to make these cookies as congressional gifts and for Wounded Warriors. The latter, I figured, was a good cause.

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Biscotti

Chocolate Chip Pistachio Biscotti


I have also been knitting my brains out. Every Christmas I try to knit something for my kids. This year they all got socks. I mentioned in my last post that I would make something with an X and O pattern, but I changed my mind and went for dancing girls and boys with snowflakes.
Socks modeled by daughter Leanne.

Socks modeled by daughter Leanne.


Homespun, hand knit.

Homespun, hand knit.


I am currently working on Leanne’s socks and these are knit from the toe up. I have never knit in this fashion and decided to try it out. It has been difficult as the pattern I bought digitally from Amazon has no instruction on techniques, and I couldn’t figure out how to do the cast-on. I have since figured it out and am on my way! I’m not sure how I feel about this style of knitting because the needles get in the way and I have to concentrate more, not good for me. And my cat wants love and I am trying to concentrate! She got mad at me, and grabbed the knitting off the table and made a run for it with a mouthful of sock. She ran in circles through the house trailing yarn behind her. I yelled at her “Bad kitty!” and now I haven’t seen her for about 2 hours!
What a mess!

What a mess!