Cut it Up – How’s the Weather?

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?  That’s the question this challenge at Cut it Up.  Here in the Shenandoah Valley, we’re experiencing whether typical for this time of year – early winter.   Some days it’s pretty chilly, other days in the 50s or 60s.  We’ve had one snow this year so far, and my husband is looking forward to more!

In Georgia where my daughter lives, snow is rare.  But one day last January when I happened to be visiting her, we woke up to snow on the ground and it was still falling!  We scarfed down a quick breakfast, bundled up, and went outside.  It was my granddaughter’s first snow!  Naturally we took zillions of photos and videos, but you know how it is . . .  Nothing has been developed yet!!

But 2019 will be a very scrappy year.  I’m determined to get a lot of scrapbooking done.  As a matter of fact, I’m going to an all-day crop tomorrow.  Cross your fingers that I’m productive!!  Anyway on to my project.  I set up the layout for Logan’s first snow photos.The adorable Bunny on Snowball was a freebie from Little Scraps of Heaven.  I can’t wait to get the photos developed and on to these pages.  It’ll be a start, anyway!!

Hope you join us for our How’s the Weather challenge at Cut it Up.  Our sponsor for this challenge is Avery Elle and the prize is a $20 gift certificate to their store.  Wouldn’t you love to win it??  🙂


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Christmas knitting – part three (of three!)

The last of the Christmas knits.  This one deserves a post all its own.

I mentioned that I have the Aran Knitting book from Alice Starmore.  It’s a wonderful read and I love all the patterns in it.  So far, I have knitted four of them (this is the last) and each one has been a pleasure.  I have my eye on several more.

The book has five chapters.  The first is a comprehensive study of Aran knits in general.  It’s fascinating.  Alice has researched them and includes a history of Aran knits and photos and information about Aran sweaters that are in the National Museum of Ireland.  She had a goal in mind when she set out to write this book.  Read about it here.

The second chapter of the book is a guided lesson on how to knit different classic Aran cables.  The third and fourth chapters include patterns for Aran knits and Celtic knits respectively, and the last chapter teaches you how to design your own Aran sweater.

When I first got the book, I asked my daughter to skim through it and put a Post-it on all the sweaters she liked.  From those, I chose the design I wanted to knit and then sent her a link to the Virtual Yarns’ Hebridean 2-ply selection for her to pick a color.  She chose Kelpie.  She didn’t know which sweater I had chosen to knit.  I chose Eala Bhan and knit it with ten inch size 3 needles.  

I knit both fronts at the same time on the same size 3 10” straight needle, reversing the left front cables to mirror the ones on the right and also knit both sleeves the same way.  The only other modification I made was to lengthen the sweater to fit my daughter’s torso.

I was taught to knit by my neighbor, an old Italian woman, who held the right-hand needle under her arm for stability.  That was never comfortable for me, but I do stabilize my right needle by setting it in the crook of my thigh while sitting so ten inch needles work best me.  Maybe you can see it in this photo where I’m knitting the fronts.  You can also see the three pattern pages I needed to refer to while knitting them.During blocking, I paid special attention to the tiny scallops on the hems and cuffs to be sure they didn’t fold over and disappear.  I also gave special attention to the knots.  I’m never happy with the little knots. They never pop for me; always recede. So when the piece was all spread out and spritzed, I took a tweezer to each one and pulled.  I seamed with the right side facing using Deborah Newton’s suggestion of sewing into two rungs of the ladders for each stitch.  I used an alpaca/acrylic blend yarn for the seams because the Hebridean was too weak and tore when I tugged at it.

Here’s the final product!  Each row was different, so it definitely kept my interest.  I loved knitting this pattern.  I loved working with this gorgeous yarn.  It was quite forgiving in that if/when I dropped a stitch, it didn’t unravel.  I think it turned out real pretty and it looks gorgeous on my daughter!


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Christmas knitting – part two

My husband had requested a beanie no bigger than a yarmulke to wear under his noise-reducing headphones when watching Youtube videos on his computer.  I chose Joji Locatelli’s Rafa’s Hat (a free Ravelry download) because it’s plain and knitted in worsted weight yarn.  Quick and easy.  The yarn is Vanna’s Choice, a birthday gift from my sister-in-law! For my daughter, I knit these Wannabe Vintage fingerless mitts, another free Ravelry download, in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna.  They’re lovely, if I say so myself!  My first pair of fingerless mitts!  I got the yarn at That Yarn Shop in Fishersville. VA, during the Virginia Yarn Crawl this summer.  It was specially dyed for them for the Yarn Crawl.  I have some left and will knit a hat with it.Christmas knitting part three – coming soon!!


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Christmas knitting

2018 was a very knitty year!  Here are some of the projects I couldn’t share until now.

First, for my granddaughter, Logan, I knit two sweaters and a hat.  All were from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting book.  I love knitting cabled things!!  This sweater is KilleanyIt’s an adorable classic aran-style knit with a cable saddle shoulder.  The filler stitch is sand stitch (row 1 – k1, p1, repeat; row 2 – knit)  It knit up quickly and beautifully in Cloudborn Fibers Superwash Merino Worsted Twist Splash.  I’m seriously thinking of sizing up this pattern to knit one for myself.

And there was enough left over to knit a Galway hat, which I modified by using the diamond pattern from the Killeany for the brim instead of the one from the Galway so it’s a perfect match.I knit the Killeany while I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of my Bainin wool from Virtual Yarns for this sweater, SigilThis was a joy to knit!!  I love the ribbing, the cabled armhole bands, and the bold emblem on the chest.

For my son-in-law, I knitted a scarf.  He has very artistic taste and his favorite color is blue, so I chose the Windy Scarf by Martin Storey for Knit Rowan.  It’s garter stitch in two colors with a cable running over the top.  Super fun to knit!  I used Cascade Yarns Venezia Worsted, which is a 70% Merino wool, 30% silk blend, so really soft!  (A bit splitty, though.)This is what it looked like knitted as is.  I love the 3D look of the cables on top of the garter stitch, but the ends looked unfinished to me, so I added an applied icord.  I think it looks great and mimics the raised cable.The reverse side also looks cool, kind of quilted.As a matter of fact, when I wrapped this, I purposely set it in the box with the reverse side up.  My son-in-law and daughter remarked how beautiful it was and then he took it out of the box and saw the cables.  Big smile!!  He said, “Now that was a reveal!!”  🙂

I followed the pattern as written, but if I were to knit it again I would start and end the cables at the points where they cross, not where they are open.  I think that would look neater.

That’s enough for today!  I’ll share the rest of my knitted Christmas projects tomorrow!


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Cut it Up – New Year’s Resolutions for 2019

It’s that time when people typically set goals for the new year.  So at Cut it Up, we’d love to see a project showcasing your goals or resolutions for 2019!  I like to think of them as goals, because “resolutions” is too strong a word for me!!

I have two goals this year.  One is to work furiously on scrapbooking.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you I am still three decades behind.  I certainly plan on giving that a good amount of my time and effort this year.

My second goal is to finish my UFOs (UnFinished Objects.) Here is my box of paper UFOs.They’re mostly card fronts that I started and didn’t do anything with.  So I dug out two of them for this challenge and put them together with a print and cut of adorable clip art from our sponsor, Kitten Scraps.  This set is called Sew Much Fun.

I made the bases for these cards by grouping squares within a rectangle in the Silhouette Design Studio program.  I love using that program to make card bases that resemble different kinds of quilts, and this is a simple one.  I filled the squares with scraps. The little clip art bears were cut at around 3″ high and I did an offset to get a white border around them.

The prize this time is a $20 gift certificate from Kitten Scraps to use in the store for any KittenScraps, or NS Design products.  So come on over to Cut it Up and link your New Year’s Resolution projects!


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Die Cuttin’ Divas – Holiday

For this last Die Cuttin’ Divas‘ challenge for 2019, the theme is Holiday, so I thought I’d share the last of my Christmas cards all in one bunch!  Here they all are, and I’ll talk about some of them individually below.You can see that I had some fun with my Silhouette Design Studio, creating both the quilt  and the squares/rectangles templates.  Then I just pieced in different Christmas patterned papers into them.  That was loads of fun!  Now to decorate them . . .

The snowflakes are a Martha Stewart punch and the stag is an EK Success punch. I bought a bunch of metal dies by various companies from Simon Says Stamp and used them on these two cards. This polar bear is from the Cricut Joys of the Season cartridge.  I just think he’s so elegant. And this last card features a little Christmas tree (minus its kawaii face) from the Create a Critter 2 cartridge.I love the way the black touches embolden the colors of the patterned paper.  It really makes a difference and makes the colors stand out.

We’d love to see your holiday projects over at Die Cuttin’ Divas this week!


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Ho ho ho!

I’m still working on my Christmas cards.  I used squares and rectangles in the Silhouette Design Studio to make a frame for some pretty leftover paper scraps from my Pink and Main Jolly paper pack!  And I picked up a couple new dies from Simon Says Stamp and tried them out on this card.  These dies are from the Spellbinders Ho Ho Ho die set.I embossed some snowflakes, too!  This was really fun to make, so naturally I made a million of them.  (Well, maybe just 9 or so . . .)  I’ll have fun making them into cards!  And will certainly have lots more fun with my new frame.  🙂


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