Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Knitter's Life Podcast: Episode 12: Merry Christmas







Hello friends!

Ah, life is busy and life around the holidays is even busier. I recorded this episode the week before Christmas but I never got the time to sit down and upload it. I hope you won't mind.

Show notes can be found in the Ravelry group - A Knitter's Life
Join the group and the conversation over there! We'd love to hear from you!

I hope you all are finding some quiet time between Christmas and New Years. So far our household has remained really busy but I'm looking forward to some quiet moments soon!

happy knitting and keep in touch!
Christina

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Knitter's Life Podcast - The Crossover Episode





Hello friends! My good friend (Gina of Brownie Knits) and I met up and recorded our first ever joint podcast! We had a blast and hope you have a good time watching the show! Grab your tea or coffee and some knitting and join us for a little longer episode than usual! (You might need to watch us in 2 parts!) =)

Show Notes:

Food:
Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad by Creme de la Crumb
Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette on allrecipes.com

Patterns Discussed (all available in Revelry.com):
Trillian by Martina Behm
The Holly and Ivy Shawlette by Christina Wall of A Knitter's Life
Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist
Sockhead Hat by Kelly McClure of Boho Knits
Bankhead Hat by Susie Gourlay
Basic Mitten by Unique Sheep
Blooming Flower Cushion by Lucy of Attic24

Other items mentioned:
Turtlepurl yarns: www.etsy.com/shop/turtlepurl
Knit, Spin, Farm: www.etsy.com/shop/knitspinfarm
Red Bubble.com for Knit, Spin, Farm's calendar

Yarn:
Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Home (Trillian)
Spring Tree Road (The Holly and Ivy Shawlette)
Madelinetosh Tosh DK Cloud Surf (Leg warmers)
Turtlepurl Turtle Toes Superman (Superman socks)
Kroy sock yarn in Sing 'n the Blues Stripes
Yarn Hollow and Madelinetosh Tosh Sock Antler (IU socks)
Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in Holidays on Ice (Blooming Flower Cushion)
Turtlepurl Turtle Toes in Snow White (Snow White socks)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Knitter's Life Episode 11



Hello lovely friends! We're in the midst of a busy week but... I did want to stop by and catch up with you all.

There are no show notes for today's episode - perhaps I can put them together at a later date! =) So sorry! But grab your knitting and a cup of tea and let's have a chat!

Christina

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Walk in the Woods





Hello lovely friends!

I thought I would share a brief walk in the woods and a picnic that JK and the boys and I took on Sunday. It was the perfect November day. Not too cold and delightfully sunny. We had a little walk, a little picnic and watched the sun go down. Once the sun went down it was COLD! We we headed back to the house where we made a cozy fire.

In the podcasting world there are a few other folks who have done some walk through their woods. It's really amazing to see the difference in woods and nature around the world. Check a few of these out:

Maine: Fiber Trek

Yorkshire Dales, UK: Bakery Bears

Sweden: Disascraftwork

Enjoy! And get out in nature when you can!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Knitter's Life: Episode 10


Hello Knitter's!

This week it's a short podcast! And short show notes! =)

New Pattern: Lady Louise Infinity Cowl

New Podcasts I'm enjoying:
My wonderful friend - Brownie Knits
Little Bobbins
A Wee Bit Knitty

I'm working on:
A new design - soon to be revealed
Hansel by Shetland Trader
Mittens (using Susan B Anderson's Waiting for Winter pattern)
Mom's Beads variation - will be released soon

Don't forget to join the Ravelry group and introduce yourself!

see you soon!
Christina




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lady Louise Infinity Cowl






It's so much fun to finally have new design to release on my own. Lady Louise Infinity Cowl is a soft and drapey cowl made from lace weight alpaca held doubled. It is like wearing a soft cloud!

This cowl was so much fun to knit! Knit on 16" circular needles you knit the body of the cowl in the round from end to end. I loved it because it was simple sock-like knitting which I could carry with me and knit on whenever I had the moment. Then once the beginning and the end are grafted together to form a infinity scarf you pick up stitches along one side of the cowl and knit on the lace. The lace is interesting and yet simple enough to memorize, so again, it was a piece I could take with me and knit when I had time. 

Now that it's finished I am eager to cast on another one because it was so simple and soothing!






To Purchase click here: Lady Louise Infinity Cowl
Yarn used: Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud, MC Oyster, CC Garnet Heather
Many thanks to Brownie Knits for tech editing and test knitting the pattern.


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Knitter's Life: Episode 9


Hello Friends!

It's been busy around our house. It's been a season of birthdays and of course a season of decorating for fall!

Notes for this podcast:
I'm wearing my Cozy Cable Jacket  made out of hand spun alpaca and a felted flower from Felted Flower Shop on etsy.

The Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs Ohio

African Market Baskets

Kroy Sock Yarn Rusty Stripes


I have a new an improved version of the Little Professor Vest. I'm so glad to get this back up for you all! I can't tell you how many messages I've received about this vest! I'm so glad you all enjoy it so much. I added two more sizes, a button placket in the back making the vest easier to slip over baby's head, cable charts as well as cable written instructions and a beautiful schematic. I do hope you all enjoy this new version!

To buy click here: Little Professor Vest





Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yarn Along














Hello Lovely Friends!
How are all of you? This week has been one of different routines.  JK has been out of town on a business trip and I've been single parenting. UGH! I know some of you deal with this on a regular basis and my heart goes out to you! Phew! I was prepared for the long days but I wasn't prepared for the bad attitudes and discipline issues that have suddenly cropped up. Boys need their dads. 

BUT... in the evenings I have been crafting up a storm. I've decorated the house for autumn. I've created new project bags for my knitting and... I've been knitting. 

I've also been reading. I devoured "How to Catch a Frog" by Heather Ross ( a very talented fabric designer). There are so many things I can relate to - her parents married in 1969 and moved to Vermont (my parents married the same year and moved to Vermont soon after). She has a sister. She had a very artistic mother (and family). Does any of this sound familiar? Her parents eventually got divorced (so did mine) but she used her craft and desire for creating to move her through those hard times and out of her family dysfunction. I can SO relate to that! It is a story of triumph and I loved it!

What are you up to this Wednesday? Any good reads you've found? 

Joining with Ginny


Friday, August 29, 2014

Boy Friday: Numbers

John's selfie






John is all about numbers right now and time and the spacial relationship time has. For instance, this was our conversation home yesterday after school:

"Mama, what's 48 + 24?"

I'm driving in the car trying to negotiate the one way streets and unfamiliar traffic patterns of the downtown neighborhood where his school is located. "um... yes.... it's..."

"72. 72, mama. We've gone out to the playground at school 3 times in the last 72 hours," says John.

"Wow, that's great, honey." I respond, trying to wait for the traffic to clear on Capitol so I can turn left and get to the interstate.

"Can I have your phone so that I can time us on the way home." He asks?

With one hand on the steering wheel I reached down to the passenger seat beside me and fumble for my phone. I hand it over and we have near silence the rest of the way home as he concentrates on the numbers.

When we get home he announces the time it took us and then all of a sudden starts counting by twos. I lug all of the gear in to the house along with Arthur and his baby gear ... and the counting by 2s has reached the mid 50s by now. I get out his milk and cookies and set them on the counter knowing not to interrupt his concentration. By the time I'm done setting out his milk and cookies he's reached 100 by 2s.

"Wow! That's great, John! Did you go over counting by 2s in school today?" I ask

"No, mom. I did it. We're learning how to write A today. I know how to write A. We haven't even talked about numbers" John says.

I give him a hug and a kiss. "They will, John, they will."

Poor boy! So if any of you out there have any ideas on what I can do for this little "just newly" 5 year old boy and things I can give him to satisfy his love of numbers, let me know - I'm at my wits end trying to feed his number curiosity!






Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Yarn Along







It's been such a long time since I've participated in Ginny's Yarn Along. All summer perhaps. But I have been knitting!

Life is busier but I've found new places and new times to knit. Socks are best for knitting when I'm being the "sand box monitor" (i.e. making sure little brother doesn't take up the whole space and throw sand out of the sand box) and little shawls are great for the pick up line at school.

Reading - ha! Unfortunately I haven't been able to read much this summer except children's books to John and Arthur. But I have been podcast listening! =)

Right now a few of my favorite knitting podcasts are:
InaSknit
The Fat Squirrel Speaks
The Bakery Bears


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Settling into Rythmn









Hello Dear Friends!

How are you? Did you have a wonderful summer? It's been so long since I've been back to this little space to "write" instead of post a podcast! But here I am.

Out of doors the weather is having its one last great "hurrah" of summer but there are so many little signs that summer is drawing to a close and Autumn will soon gild the leaves with splendor.

Sign 1: School is back in session and we have officially become part of the "school" crowd with packing lunches and joining into the drop off and pick up line of cars. And yes, John got is first school cold already. Poor guy!

Sign 2: We celebrated the first of the birthdays in our "season of Birthdays". John turned 5. It seems like a huge milestone in his life. There is something about 5 - no longer a toddler but a real boy! =)

Sign 3: Apple season is upon us! Ooooo, I do love to go pick apples. I remember as a child going with my mom and my sister to apple orchards to pick apples. My first memory is picking "drops". Do any of you have that memory? "Drops" are apples on the ground that have fallen but are still good. At the time (back in the 80s) they were much cheaper than buying apples off the tree. Then we would return home and mom would turn the drops into apple sauce and apple butter. Yum!

So as things change outside and in our little household inside we're trying to find our new rythmn and routine. Arthur is a bit lost without his older brother and I feel a bit empty as the house is sooooo much quieter. But I know that we will soon find our footing and discover new things. And besides... at 12:30 our house changes back into a raucous riot as our little 5 year old comes home from school! =)



Friday, August 22, 2014

A Knitter's Life Episode 7





Hello Knitters!

Summer has ended and we're getting into the routine of a new school and new school adventures here in this neck of the woods.

I want to thank those of you who purchased patterns over the summer months - the proceeds of which went to purchase John's school uniform and boy, doesn't he look dapper in his little duds!!!!


Show Notes:

Mixed locks from Vintage Fibers out of Greencastle Indiana
Shetland roving from Greyside Farm

Tales from a Green Valley - Episode 10 (this episode gave me the idea of making floor pillows for the play room stuffed with washed fleece).

Lily Brook Farm - Scottish Black Face sheep in Maine

Molly's Hat

I'll Remember April Shawl



Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Knitter's Life Episode 6





Hello Friends!



I finally managed another Podcast!

We have the winner of the Episode 5 giveaway - itsmesue on Ravelry

We have:

Adventures

What's In the Bags

What's Out of the Bags

Spinning



Don't forget to find the "A Knitter's Life" group on Ravelry and join in on the conversation!
And don't forget you can find me daily on Instagram as: aknitterslife



Until Next Time...happy knitting!



Christina

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Knitter's Life: Episode 5






You can subscribe to these Podcasts on YouTube here
(I'm wearing the Holly & Ivy Shawlette)

This summer is racing along at quite a clip! But we've been having fun. John and I are participating in A Homespun House's Summer Craft along by doing projects from this wonderful book Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids

As part of that craft along I have finished one skein of hand spun sock yarn and am working on another skein of handspun sock yarn. I used this tutorial to make my rolags. (Forgot to show my current hand spun sock yarn I'm working on - next time!) =)

Favorite Podcast Communities
A Homespun House
Bakery Bears
In A Sknit
Must Stash Yarn
Juniper Grace
Suburban Stitcher




Out of the Bag
Bakery Bears Podcast and the Bakery Bears Pattern

Color Affection Shawl (knit out of my hand spun)

Autumn Lace Cardigan (pattern to be released fall of 2014)

Crochet Bead necklace - I used this tutorial for the beads and this one for the flower

In the Bag
Vintage Tea Towel project bag by The Felted Flower Shop on etsy

handspun socks - yarn by me

hand dyed socks using yarn I dyed with a friend using kool aid. You can find a tutorial here



Giveaway!
Invite a friend or many friends to A Knitter's Life Ravelry Group and invite them to join the podcast on YouTube. Let me know who you have invited (i.e. just post their Rav name in the thread) and you will be entered to win a canvas project bag and a beautiful skein of Jitterbug - colorway Summer Berries!

For each friend you have invited to join our group your name will be entered into the giveaway - invite 10 friends and your name will go in 10 times! Woohoo!

This giveaway ends Thursday July 31, 2014

Thanks for joining me! I don't have any technical skills so if you actually watched my crazy podcast you are absolutely amazing! =)

Until next time!
Happy Knitting!









Jones - The Bakery Bear


Hello Dear Friends! Wow! This summer is truly trotting right along! Can you believe it is almost the end of June? 

Well, anyways, there are lots of things to share with you - Episode 5 of the podcast is coming up soon. I think it's the only way to truly catch up with you all since I haven't been very good posting in this little space. 

I have been enjoying a new Podcast - The Bakery Bears. Have you seen them? Oh, they are an adorable couple from the Yorkshire Dales region of England. They do a great job of combining hilarity with sweetness. 

Kay of the Bakery Bears released this adorable bear pattern in Episode 1. Well, I went right out and bought it knowing that the boys would adore a little bear to tag along on our adventures. 


I didn't have the chance to cast him on right away - but once I did he knit up quickly! It's a fabulous pattern.



John took to "Jones" right away. And the funny thing was - he wanted to undress and redress the little fellow right away! Ha! Too funny. 

Friday morning we noticed we were missing Jones and we wanted to take him on our morning adventure. Oh, we looked high and low. Upstairs, in the basement, outside, downstairs. It was a 40 minute bear hunt that almost left John quite upset and me thinking I had to make another one right away. 

But we found him - by the car road, tuck away in a bin where he had fallen after a hard afternoon of play. We all breathed a sigh of relief. 


So off he went on our adventure. Just take a look at John - he's in this mood lately where he's really trying hard not to smile when I say "smile" and take a picture.



But he can't fool me - there is a smile just about to burst out. Silly boy!



The adventure took us past Starbucks and upon John's request we ducked in for a treat. 


John was quite pleased with his new little friend and has been coming up with all sorts of things for me to knit him - a sleeping bag, a pillow, a new sweater... =) 

If you want to knit your own you can find them here:




Monday, June 16, 2014

My New Dawn


Four years ago I planted this climbing rose - it was a birthday gift to me. I chose it because it was the same climber my mother had at her childhood home on Long Island. Mom would tell us about the heavenly scent of this "New Dawn" variety and how it prolifically climbed the side of their garage. 


Last year it was quite beautiful! I don't think I got a good picture of when it was entirely covered in blooms. But it was breathtaking and the smell.... oh, my, the perfume!



But then we had such a bitter winter. Every single cane became swollen and split. It was heart breaking to cut all the canes back to the root stock but it was the only way to save the rose.


It is growing bravely again. And growing rapidly. But it will be another 2 or 3 years before it reaches the magnificence of last year's blooms. 


But today I did notice the first bloom of the season. Two glorious blooms instead of the hundred or so of last year - but it is blooming! Hooray for the fortitude of nature!



Friday, June 13, 2014

Boy Friday










Ah, summer! Long, sunny, blissful days that are so ripe for the picking! Now that John has had his first year of school summer has taken on new meaning for me. Now it is a time, precious time, when I get to be with him every day and create memories that hopefully will last a life time.

During my childhood I remember summer as a fun time to create. And so I've wanted to create the same atmosphere for John. Since the school year is marked by schedules and deadlines I'm trying to create summers as the exact opposite. Free time, creating time, no deadlines or places we have to be. There are exceptions to that rule. We have chosen two things to schedule this summer - swimming lessons and VBS. But other than that we are free to create.

And so... I tracked down a great book for this summer - Martha Stuart's favorite crafts for Kids. Oooo... just looking through it made me excited. Then I gave it to John to pour over and he took a long time looking through it.

Of course the first thing that HAD to be made was the service station for cars. John is just a car man. Unfortunately we didn't have all the equipment to start that morning. But we spent a good chunk of the morning hunting down all the stuff we had on hand and putting it together in a box. Then we made a list of the things we had to purchase. And at last, this morning, we set about making it.

It was great fun! He enjoyed it the whole time and then couldn't wait to play with it. We both had the satisfaction of creating something we were really excited about.... and now, he's off playing and I can catch a few moments with some fiber I've been spinning! =)

The fiber I spun were the odds and ends I picked up at the TNNA. I briefly talked about them in A Knitter's Life Podcast Episode 4. I plied the single with some Miss Babs fiber in the Beachglass colorway - someone had gifted it to me a long time ago. The singles were spun quite thin - so the result of the 2 ply is a sock weight/fingering weight or 17 wpi and 402 yards. It's lovely and I can't wait to knit a pair of socks with it!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Happy Monday!



"Live in the sunshine
swim the sea
drink the wild air" - Emerson


Hello dear friends!

A whole week went by and I didn't get to come to this little space and say "hello". We've been too busy enjoying the bit of summer that has come our way and have been living in the sunshine!

I'll be back!
Christina

Friday, May 30, 2014

Boy Friday

Our cowboy camp this week




Well, Friends, it happened to me this week. Those dreaded words that most moms of boys don't want to hear..."Mama, I want a motorcycle." Why, why, why are boys attracted to fast things that can kill them?

It happened on Monday. We were getting back into our car after getting ice cream in the artsy little discrict in our town and John looked over and saw a big, black, brand new, gleaming, BMW motorcycle. I could almost see it in his eyes - the look of "Wow! What a machine!" He turned to me and said, "Mama, when our car gets old and we need a new one, can we get a motorcycle?"

I felt like freezing and saying harshly, "No! Don't you know those things will kill you?" B...U...T... I knew that would only drive him to it even faster.

Instead I said, "Well, a motorcycle can only fit two people. What would Arthur and Daddy do?"

"We could get two motorcycles." He said without blinking. You gotta love this kid. He is smart.

"Yes, we could. But where would mama put all the groceries when I went food shopping." I responded. And I really thought I had him with this one.

"You could use Daddy's car." He said.

This kid! He thinks of everything! "Well, John, when you are 21 you can save up your money and get a motorcycle." I said with a sigh. After all... did I  have my motorcycle license and didn't I learn how to drive a motorcycle. I suppose he could too.

"How much do they cost?" He said. "Around $3,000 for a very used one." I said. "Can we start saving up our pennies after we save up enough for a coo-coo clock?" John asked. "No. when you are old enough you can start mowing lawns and saving that money."

And he was satisfied. He had made a plan for getting his very own motorcycle.

Of course I haven't yet informed him that he would also have to take the ABATE safety course I had taken and he would also have to promise me to always, always, always wear a helmet and the right gear. But for the moment he was happy in just the thought of a motorcycle.

For now, I can rest and not worry. Sometimes it is absolutely wonderful to have a 4 year old boy who really can't get into very dangerous things!