Friday, May 29, 2009

Queen Anne's Cardigan

I adore lace shawls. They seem to evoke an era when life was slower. (Couldn't we all use a bit of that right now). When friends would gather for afternoon tea in a shady garden or dress up to hear a concert in the park.

Honestly, I long to wear a shawl dripping with delicate lace and not feel out of place. Perhaps, someday, I will be able to do that. Meanwhile, I have designed a cardigan with a deep lace collar and flowing sleeves to mimic the drape and feel of a fine lace shawl.

The lace collar and sleeves reminded me of one of my favorite summer flowers -- Queen Anne's Lace. So, in honor of that noble flower, I named this sweater, "Queen Anne's Cardigan."

And on another note -- I am offering this pattern to you free of charge. Times are tough right now and everyone's budget is a little stretched so hopefully it helps to have a free pattern.

But the one thing that I would ask is -- please purchase yarn for this sweater from your local yarn shop rather than the internet. Our wonderful local yarn shops could all do with a bit of a boost right now. So download the pattern and hit your local yarn store.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back from Boulder, CO

Here I am, back in Indiana, sipping iced coffee (decaf of course - for Baby John's sake) and sweating buckets. I can barely believe this picture was taken on Sunday. Oh, the wonders of travel.

JK and I had a nice time in Boulder, CO. I had never been that far west (I'm from the east coast originally). I was fascinated by the arid/desert-like climate coupled with the snowy mountains. What a contrast.

Yes, I did hike and I did very well (although I say so myself) for being 6 months pregnant. It took me a day to get used to the altitude and I hiked a bit slower than JK and his friend, David. But I enjoyed it!

I did get a 10 minute visit to a yarn shop -- I'll post about that tomorrow....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lacey Temptaion Cardigan

Just before I left last week I finished and mailed out the next design for Alpaca With A Twist.
It is the Lacey Temptation Cardigan.

I LOVE this cardigan. Temptation (Baby Alpaca & Silk) makes the feel and drape of this cardigan seem so elegant and rich. Because the yarn has a lot of drape I went with another a-line design and a loose feel. The lace collar down the front is accented by the garter stitch body, making this a fun knit. You have relaxing rows between two lace & cable panels.

The best part is .... this cardigan is entirely seamless! Yes! No sewing, no seaming. It all starts at the lace panel at the back of the neck and the yoke is picked up from there. It's magic!

Want to knit it? Have your local yarn store contact Alpaca With A Twist for the pattern!
Happy Knitting!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Graduation

Bethany & Rusty


The end of May always seems to be a whirl of graduations and open houses. This May is no exception.

Bethany (JK's sister and the youngest of the Wall siblings) graduated Summa Cum Laude from Geneva College this past Saturday.

JK & I, Andrew & Alecia, Mom & Dad Wall and Bethany's fiance's family all traveled out to PA to celebrate her graduation.


All the Wall girls wore hats to the graduation. I loved Mom Wall's hat, which she decorated herself.
Yep, I'm the tallest Wall girl (and the only Wall girl with brown hair)! =(

The boys looked just as grand all dressed up.

Bethany looked so grown up in her cap & gown and all her ribbons.


After graduation, changing and checking out of our hotel, we drove to a lovely restaurant where we all celebrated Bethany's big day by eating these enormous hamburgers. This was a Pittsburger with french fries & coleslaw slapped on top. It's fun to see what different regions do with their food. We all were so hungry most of us had a clean plate at the end of the meal. Can you believe it?

Did I get any knitting done? Oh, yes! My hands were busy the seven hours out and almost all of the seven hours back home. I'm working on a new pattern I think you all are going to love. AND the best part of this pattern is..... it will be a free PDF download for the first few months!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Summer Knitting

For me, summer knitting evokes visions of light and airy lace. Lace shawls are perfect for putting a little pizazz in a sundress or wearing on a breezy evening in June.

Lace is also great for knitting in hot weather. The light yarn doesn't weigh heavy in your lap as you are knitting.



These two books are my new favorite lace books. Knitting Lace Triangles is the design guide to triangular lace shawls. Evelyn Clark works her magic and makes designing lace shawls easy to understand.

The First Book of Modern Lace Knitting is a treasure trove of old lace patterns you rarely see today. There is a lace tea tablecloth in this book that is going to become Baby John's baptism shawl -- it's simply stunning.

So, if you haven't ventured into lace knitting -- start an easy project this summer. You won't regret it. If you're an avid lace knitter -- you know what I mean!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Clara Dress

I finished The Clara Dress last week but didn't have time to post about it. I loved knitting it and would love to do it again. However, I think little boy things are next in my knitting line up.

I ordered the pattern and yarn from TUTTO -- they were very helpful.

The dress is knitted out of Isager Alpaca 2 and I would definitely suggest using it. It is a dream to work with. It's nice to knit with a high-quality yarn that is reasonably priced. I loved the drape of the yarn as well as the softness.

Don't worry -- I'm not going to put Baby John in a dress. It was just a "must knit" kind of knit.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

This was my first mother's day as a mom. Yes, I don't have all the responsibilities of motherhood yet. My only duties are making sure I get enough rest, water & food -- or not too much food. But I cherished the day nonetheless.

My mother made all the flower arrangements for me, including the center piece for the main table. Don't you just love it?

We sat out in our sun room which was adorned with my mom's mother's day gifts to me -- the beautiful hanging baskets of pink geraniums!

JK cooked yummy kebabs on the grill, Heather brought a lovely green salad, my mother in law brought a delicious fruit salad, Emily some delightful wine, my mom brought fragrant rolls and no one left the table hungry.

Baby John's smiling cousins enjoyed sitting on the deck while they ate their lunch.

Between dinner and dessert (huge strawberry shortcakes) we opened our gifts to one another. I received Baby John's first bib and onesies!
I loved having everyone around for the day.

Here are the two grandmas and mothers -- my mom on the right and my mother in law on the left. They are two wonderful mothers!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm a...

I'm in heaven! I am so excited I haven't been able to think straight since I saw my little boy late Tuesday afternoon.

I'm sure someday my little John Winslow Wall will die in shame when he realizes I posted his "I'm a boy" picture on my blog -- but right now I don't care! I'm so excited!

Here is my little John Winslow all curled up with his knees bent and his little hands in the middle. My favorite ultrasound clip is of him sucking his thumb. I used to suck my thumb all the time when I was little.

Right now he is 1 lb, 3 oz. His little foot is 1.5" inches long and everything checked out as healthy and normal.

I'm in bliss. Now, as soon as I get all the May design deadlines (I have three of them) knitted and completed, I will start designing for John Winslow. I think a cute little cabled vest is in order -- his Aunt Bethany's wedding is six weeks from his due date and he needs to look dashing for the day.

Note about his name: It is tradition in the Wall family to name the first born boy John and for the middle name to be the mother's maiden name. Thus, John Winslow. If you have ever wondered what JK's initials stand for, it is : John Kelly. I was asked if I would carry on this tradition right after I was engaged to JK. Of course I said yes. Anything to marry the greatest guy in the world!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Garden II

We finally got the dirt delivered for our garden. Look at that nice crumbly soil -- no sticky clay in that mound!
Into my garden it went, along with....
Peat and composted "organic" cow manure. I didn't get the "organic" bit. Isn't cow manure, by its very nature "organic"?
Finally my garden patch looked like this. I'm pleased to say that a week ago today my mom and I planted my garden and Saturday I saw little radish shoots popping up! I was amazed!

After working so hard schlepping dirt, JK and I took showers and headed off to Starbucks for a late afternoon cup of coffee, a good read and some knitting. Ahh.... the joys of relaxation!