Tag Archives: Holiday Knitting

YOP Update Jan 19th, 2014

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I have to admit it has been a super productive couple in weeks in my fibre world and really I couldn’t be happier.  I finally feel like I am reaching some sort of balance in my knitting life again (though I think some people might use the word obsession instead of balance).  But the point is there has been progress in the last two weeks and I am very happy about it.

Two sets of garlands have been completed!!!!

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And that means that two Christmas gifts are finished. The third has been cast on and with any luck the stars will be finished by the weekend. I have no illusions about finishing the whole things this week. But if the stars are finished I will consider it a victory.

My SIL’s 2013 Christmas socks are finished and though they were still on the needles until after Christmas Day, we haven’t seen her yet as she and her husband were away over the holidays. Since we haven’t exchanged our gifts yet, I do not consider the socks late as they were finished prior to getting together and I will not be panicking the night before we see them..

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Vivid is coming along at record break neck speed. I have finished six squares in the last two weeks and that means that there are only six squares left to complete. Then I have to put the whole thing together, but I’m willing to take this one step at a time.

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And finally the mittens. I’ve almost made it to the last colour change on the first mitt. It’s not an updated photo, but they are still getting love.

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So overall, I have nothing to complain about. There’s been fibre and a lot of it. Now somehow this week I need to find some time with my spinning wheel and all will be right with the world.

I hope everyone else had a lovely fibre filled week.


A Baby Gargoyle for FO Friday

I really didn’t do very much Christmas knitting this year.  Serious restrictions in my knitting time due to a return to school and basically breaking my right thumb and spending 8 weeks in a brace really cramped the knitting style.

But there were a few shining lights in an otherwise (sadly) knitted gift free holiday.  This little guys was one of them.

baby Gargoyle

My friend has been asking me to make a buddy for the first gargoyle I made him a few years ago so this year I finally did.    My hubby drew the coat of arms to go with him.  This gargoyle did turn out very small compared to the first one.  He’s practically baby sized.  But, I think he’s darn cute and now Victor has a buddy.

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This is Victor

Pattern (for both): Stone 

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – I Finally Took Some Photos!!!

This weeks finished object was technically “finished” in July.   At least the knitting part was anyway.  But, there were ends to weave in and blocking to do and that didn’t get finished until this past weekend.  That is unfortunately often the way of things in my knitting life.  I love finishing things.   But even  more than finishing, I  love starting something new and since this is a Christmas gift I just didn’t really have the motivation to put the final touches on it.  It  happen this past weekend because I, quite frankly, got irritated with having to continuously move the shawl  from the back of the sofa to the trunk and back again.  So now it’s finished and can sit in the Christmas Knitting gift box that lives in the closet.

Pattern: Wingspan

Yarn: Rowan Scottish tweed

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For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – It’s Only a Little Late

We all know the stories of the baby blanket that was started before the child was born and given to them as they left for college.  In this case, I am pleased to say that the blanket isn’t quite that late.  It certainly wasn’t ready in time for last Christmas, but the weather was on my side and since we kind’ve skipped winter altogether this year, the blanket wouldn’t have had much use anyway.  At least that’s what I am telling myself in an attempt to justify not having the blanket done until 8 months after it should have been given away.  And, as luck would have it, now that the blanket is ready to be presented to my SIL and her Husband, they are out the country so the blanket will be even later.  However, I am not taking any responsibility for a wedding that is taking place in South Africa and delaying the presentation and reception of the blanket.  The knitting is finished and if my SIL’s brother in law on her hubby’s side was inconsiderate enough to plan his wedding at the same time as I finished the blanket then it is clearly his fault for any further delays and I am really very concerned about his clear lack of respect for us fibre folk.  Either way (since it would be rude of me to punish my SIL for having an inconsiderate ape of a BIL) this is waiting for them to return and be incorporated into their flat.

Log cabin 1

Log cabin 2

It’s twenty squares in total and will be a great blanket for snuggling under while they watch a movie.  The pattern is a slightly modified version of Paintbox Log Cabin Blanket.  I used 20 balls of Noro Kureyon and while I did enjoy knitting this I am very happy to finally have it ready to go.

Oh, and for the record, I have never actually met my SIL’s Brother in Law.  I’m sure he is a very nice person .

And this is two FO Friday’s in a row!!!!!! It’s really rather exciting.

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, and Fiber Arts Friday.


FO Friday – I Love You Enough to Make you Another Scarf

The “I Love you Enough to Make You Another Scarf” Scarf

For Christmas this year there was no doubt in my mind that my hubby needed a new hat and scarf.  He still very proudly wears the first two that I knit him from the beginning of my knitting career. (I remember the hat took me something like 12 hours to make.  I can do the same hat now in under 3 hours.  I know this cause it’s happened).  I am very tickled by the fact that he still wears and loves the set.  But it old and well-worn and he needed something at little more updated.  So I set about to find a set I liked.  What I found was the Windschief hat and cowl set.  But the husband didn’t  need another cow.  He needed a scarf.  So, this is what I came up with.

(I’m going to add better pictures this weekend.  It’s actually a perfect winter day outside for photos, but alas I have no model currently.)

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Note: As this is a scarf gauge is not critical to a completed project. Please keep in mind that finished lengths and widths are based on the yarn and gauge used in this pattern. Altering the weight and gauge of yarn used will result in a scarf that may use more or less yards than this pattern suggests.

Suggested Yarn: Any DK weight yarn. Scarf knit in Tosh Merino DK colourway Stovepipe

Yarn requirements: 675 yards/618 yards (3 ball of Tosh)

Gauge: 20 – 22 sts = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Finished size: Length

Width:

Materials:

Needles – 4.5 mm or US 7 straights

Notions: 2 split ring stitch markers

Measuring Tape

tapestry needle

Abbreviations

CO: Cast on

K: Knit

P: Purl

K1tbl: knit one through back loop

Garter Stitch

Knit all stitches

Repeat for every row

Twisted Rib

(K1tbl, P1) across row

repeat above row for all rows

Section One

(Using Cast on Method of choice)

CO 42 stitches

First row: Begin Twisted rib, (K1tbl, P1). Repeat for all stitches to end of row

Repeat Twisted Rib on all rows until scarf measures 1″ from cast on edge.

(I moved my split ring marker every two rows to make it easier to now when to start and stop the twisted rib pattern).

Next two rows: K1, (P1, K1tbl) x20, K1

Row 3 & 4: K2, (K1tbl, P1) x19, K2

Row 5 & 6: K3, (P1, K1tbl) x18, K3

Row 7 & 8: K4, (K1tbl, P1) x17, K4

Row 9 & 10: K5, (P1, K1tbl) x16, K5

Row 11 & 12: K6, (K1tbl, P1) x15, K6

Row 13 & 14: K7, (P1, K1tbl) x14, K7

Row 15 & 16: K8, (K1tbl, P1) x13, K8

Row 17 & 18: K9, (P1, K1tbl) x12, K9

Row 19 & 20: K10, (K1tbl, P1) x11, K10

Row 21 & 22: K11, (P1, K1tbl) x10, K11

Row 23 & 24: K12, (K1tbl, P1) x9, K12

Row 25 & 26: K13, (P1, K1tbl) x8, K13

Row 27 & 28: K14, (K1tbl, P1) x7, K14

Row 29 & 30: K15, (P1, K1tbl) x6, K15

Row 31 & 32: K16, (K1tbl, P1) x5, K16

Row 33 & 34: K17, (P1, K1tbl) x4, K17

Row 35 & 36: K18, ( K1tbl, P1) x3, K18

Row 37 & 38: K19, (P1, K1tbl) x2, K19

Row 39 & 40:K20, K1tbl, P1, K20

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Switch to garter stitch, (knit every row), and continue until scarf measures approximately 7” shorter than desired length.

Section Two

Begin Twisted Rib pattern

(I moved my split ring marker every two rows to make it easier to now when to start and stop the twisted rib pattern).

Row 1 & 2: K20, K1tbl, P1, K20

Row 3 & 4: K19, (P1, K1tbl) x2, K19

Row 5 & 6: K18, ( K1tbl, P1) x3, K18

Row 7 & 8: K17, (P1, K1tbl) x4, K17

Row 9 & 10: K16, (K1tbl, P1) x5, K16

Row 11 & 12: K15, (P1, K1tbl) x6, K15

Row 13 & 14: K14, (K1tbl, P1) x7, K14

Row 15 & 16: K13, (P1, K1tbl) x8, K13

Row 17 & 18: K12, (K1tbl, P1) x9, K12

Row 19 & 20: K11, (P1, K1tbl) x10, K11

Row 21 & 22: K10, (K1tbl, P1) x11, K10

Row 23 & 24: K9, (P1, K1tbl) x12, K9

Row 25 & 26: K8, (K1tbl, P1) x13, K8

Row 27 & 28: K7, (P1, K1tbl) x14, K7

Row 29 & 30: K6, (K1tbl, P1) x15, K6

Row 31 & 32: K5, (P1, K1tbl) x16, K5

Row 33 & 34: K4, (K1tbl, P1) x17, K4

Row 35 & 36: K3, (P1, K1tbl) x18, K3

Row 37 & 38: K2, (K1tbl, P1) x19, K2

Row 39 & 40: K1, (P1, K1tbl) x20, K1

Next Row

continue in Twisted Rib across all stitches until scarf measures 1″ from point of triangle.

BO all stitches.

Weave in ends and block if necessary

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, Fiber Arts Friday, and Fibers on Friday


FO Friday – Christine’s Little Lace Scarf and a Pattern

This year for Christmas I made my friend Christine a scarf.  She found out about it before hand when I found out she reads my blog.  We laughed about that.  I originally had settled on the Strangling Vines Lace Scarf.  I am not really sure what I was thinking since I don’t knit lace.  Sure a little bit here and there but not a whole scarf.  I realized I was never going to finish it on time so I morphed it into the final product.

Lace on the ends only! Speed up the process a lot.

I altered the pattern to only include lace on the two ends and continued the 3 stitch border throughout the SS middle section.  It went much faster and even with needing a heavy blocking it was finished on time!

If your interested here’s what I did. (I used two skiens of sock yarn for this.)

NOT QUITE STRANGLING SCARF

CO 42 stitches (I used 4mm needles)

K3, Place marker, K to last 3 stitches, place marker, K3

K 3 more rows

Lace repeat 

Row 1 & 3: K3, purl to marker, K3

Row 2: K3, *yo, k2,ssk,k2tog,k2,yo,k1* repeat to marker, K3

Row 4: K3, K1, yo, K2, ssk, k2tog, K2, yo* repeat to marker, K3

I made 8 lace repeat sections, (I repeated the last four rows eight time creating 32 rows of lace).

Middle section

First  row: Knit across row

Next row: K to first marker, purl to second marker, K3

Repeat last two rows until 5 inches before desired length

Using the same lace repeat pattern as in the first lace section, do 8 repeats of section.

Knit 4 rows

BO

You will need to block this.  It curls a lot.

For more Friday knitting check out FO FridaysCreative Friday, Fiber Arts Friday, and Fibers on Friday


Holiday Tip #8 – Train Your Family

Holiday Tip #8 – Train your family well

Now that we are in November and the threat  promise of Christmas is looming on the horizon, you may be like me and be in the thick of the Holiday knitting.  There are however many weekends are left between now and the wonderful gift giving day (please for the love of all things good in the world do not tell me how many weekends that actually is.  I am very happy in my denial), and things are starting to need to be finished.  If you’re even a little more like me you are looking at your list and waffling madly between thinking that you can get everything finished on time and wanting to bury your head in the bottom of your yarn stash and sob hysterically at the thought of what’s still left.

This is the best time to train your family.  You need to make then understand what life is like being a holiday knitter.  So, here’s a helpful list of things that you can show to your family to make few weeks easier for you.

1.  If there are phones in your house, make sure that the non-knitters answer it and under no circumstances should you be interrupted to talk on the phone.  It does not matter what the person on the other end of the phone says.  They need to keep the phone away from you.  They are your gatekeepers.  This goes for pesky people at the door too.  Unless it’s the postman delivering more yarn, in which case you need to pounce on them, relieve them of the yarn,  and dismiss them as quickly as possible.

2.  Does anyone other than you cook?  If not, they need to learn.  Even a very young child with the IQ of a doormat can open a can of Zoodles, dump it into a bowl, and pop it in the microwave.  Get the kind with pull tops if your children haven’t got the motor control for can openers yet.   I survived my last 12 days of University on 6 cans of Zoodles (yes, all I could afford to eat was 1/2 a can of Zoodles a day) and it was good enough for me.  And while I wouldn’t recommend the “1/2 can/day of garbage in a can” for any long-term nutritional value, they won’t starve.  And for us ladies, it’s a pretty good weight loss tool.  Supplement in between meals with boiled water with sugar.  (I ran out of tea and instant coffee and couldn’t afford more.)

3. Remember that old wives’ tale we were told as children? (Or maybe it was just me.) About how you should always wear clean socks and underwear so that if you were ever in an accident you wouldn’t be embarrassed by dirty undies and holey socks?  Well, lets just put it out there.  Do you stink?  Are people fainting at the sight and smell of your children?  Are other people’s children fleeing in terror from the pungent odour of your spouse?  If not, then forgot the laundry.  You all probably have more clothes than the ones you are wearing right now at this very moment, and there is most likely someone other than you that can do laundry in your house.  And if they can’t, they’d best be learning.  Only when the dog won’t come near you for steak and the cat has been hiding in its litter box to avoid the smell for the last two days do you really need to worry about the laundry.

4. In the same vein as number three, your house is not going to collapse if you don’t dust, vacuum, or clean the kitchen.  I’ve been experimenting over the year with what is the correct offering to the Kitchen Elves, but have yet to find it.  But one day I will wake up to a clean kitchen and when that day comes I will share it all with you.  The Kitchen Elves have been on strike for a really long time.  I hope that they can reach a collective bargaining agreement soon and get back to work.

5.  The only exception to number four is the garbage.  It has to go out.  That can not be ignored.  So here’s the key to that one: delegate, delegate, delegate.  I’m sure your spouse can carry it to the curb (leaving the bag in their favourite chair helps).  Your kids are too young?  Nonsense!  I am a teacher.  I see the amount of things that today’s child is forced to carry in a backpack.  A bag of garbage pales in comparison.  And most dogs are smart (okay not all dogs), but at least some dogs should be able to haul that bag out for you.  Huskies could probably do it.  They’re smart, and strong, and they love to be helpful.  It can be done. And not by you.

6.  Buy a Husky.  They’re pretty, and they have even more energy than Jack Russell Terriers.  They’re perfect for tiring out your kids and keeping strangers (or skittish friends and acquaintances) from crossing the lawn and ringing the doorbell.  Anyone who can’t make it past the Husky shouldn’t be interrupting your precious, precious knitting time anyway.  Also, they love the outdoors, pull on the leash too hard to be stopped by even a full-grown significant other, and are more or less immune to inclement weather.  Once your spouse has enlisted your children to try and catch it, the Husky will lead your family on a merry chase throughout the whole neighbourhood.  In all likelihood, they will not catch the Husky until it begins to notice the heat sometime around March and starts to slow down.  Presto!  The rest of your holiday knitting will be done in your dusty, can filled Knitterly Fortress of Solitude, as you shuffle about in your bathrobe muttering stitch counts under your breath.  Not actually having your family around for the holidays because they are three counties away playing the new dog’s favourite game ever is a small price to pay.

That’s all the tips for this week.  Tune in next week for tips on dog walking without garbage bags, maintaining a workout routine, and dealing with the accusation that you’re just no fun any more, and why is my chair full of garbage?

The Fine Print
The tips revealed in this blog are for entertainment value only, and do not represent the views or opinions of the blogger, the blog host, or indeed of any known living being. Certainly not any sane ones. The use of these tips indicates your acceptance that there is no warranty, express or implied, that following these tips will have any effect whatsoever on your level of holiday stress. This will all end in tears.

On My Needles & Between My Pages

On My Needles

This week, I have out of necessity, stopped ignoring a relatively long time WIP.  Astrick has been pulled back out of the knitting basket and is receiving attention again because Christmas is coming and this is going to my MIL.  Unfortunately, for me this knit comes with an added dose of stress and confusion.  Let me start by making it clear that it has nothing to do with the intended recipient.  I like my MIL.  We get along very well.  It has mostly to do with the construction of the shawl.  I just don’t get it.  I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the way that it works so I have no idea of I’m doing things correctly.  The first wing was “completed” when I realized that I misread one of the direction in the pattern and that the only way to fix it was to frog back the whole side and do it again.  Trust me, that didn’t help me understand the pattern construction.  So now I’ve moved onto the second wing and the only thing that is certain is that I am working the wing on the right side.  I’m concerned that I am working the wing backwards. I’m concerned that I have somehow managed to screw this up so signficantly that I will run out of yarn before it’s done.  And I am dreading having to work more I-cord bind off when the wing is finished.  I love the way that i-cord bind off looks and I hate having to do it in this pattern because of all the wrapped stitches.  Being stuck in a room with no coffee or knitting and being forced to watch Will Ferrel movies is a fairly good comparison as to how much I hate doing this i-cord bind off.  Once I know if I’ve worked the last wing properly I know that my stress level will decrease significantly.  It unfortunately appears that the only way I will know is by working on it and keeping my fingers crossed.  Send some good knitting vibes my way please.

Between My Pages
I have finished Anita Diamant’s Day After Night.  It is a wonderful read.  If you are a fan of historical women’s fiction then I highly recommend this book.  Do be warned, I did have a hard time getting through the last few pages as my eyes keep welling up with tears and it was a little hard to actually see the pages!  I have now read two of her four works of fiction, (The Red Tent being the first), and they are both stunningly well done.  I will be hunting down her other two novels in the near future.

I have moved on to Carol Shield’s The Stone Diaries.  It a piece of Canadian fiction about the life of one women in the 1900’s.  I’m not too far into the novel and it is taking place in Manitoba.  I always have mixed feelings about reading Canadian based novels.  In recent years, most books have been very well written and worth the read.   But I think I still have a slight Canadian book hangover from being forced to read Canadian literature in high-school that  I had no real interest in.  I have always loved to read but I remember having to slog through The Stone Angel all to well and I firmly believe that time does not in fact heal all wounds when it comes to being force feed authors while in the school system.  So, as usual I am approaching this piece of Canadian based literature with slightly bated breath and hoping that it’s worth my time.  (Just for the record Margaret Atwood is one of my favourite authors.  The Gargoyle also written by a Canadian is worth every page.  I do enjoy Canadian Literature and hope one day to overcome my personal hesitations.)

For more  Wednesday knitting and reading check out Tami’s WIP Wednesday post and the Yarn Along.


YOP Update November 6th

I’ve had one of those weeks that makes for great knitting but a horribly boring YOP update.  There has been progress on a number of projects without any finishing or casting on of something new.  I’m perfectly comfortable and happy with all this.  It’s just not very exciting to write about.

However, I wouldn’t want to imply that nothing exciting is going on.  My Friday post will be my first reveal of one of the “super secret projects.”  This week is my BFF’s birthday which means I get to finally show everyone what I made for her.  The project reveal will actually be the one listed as her Christmas gift.  I decided to reverse the order of her gifts so she gets this one first.  I’m being honest and publicly stating it’s because I did this one first and the other one isn’t finished.  Her Christmas gift is on my list, just not listed as hers.

Next, Contessa (from Writing, Yarn, Pucks, and Ducks), and I have started to devise a plan for a little YOP knit a-long in the early new year.  We need to work out a few more details, but the idea has been planted and it seems like too much fun not to do it.  So stay tuned.  The two of us will figure it all out and let you in on all the fun.

And finally, and this is super important for me, I can’t  count.  This doesn’t actually come as a surprise to me.  I wonder sometimes how I manage to knit anything or write our family budget each  month.  Usually, my ineptitude for numbers seems to work to my advantage and this is no exception.  Since this list was posted in July, I have added very few things to it.  I have also been very diligent about adjusting the number of completed objects and the number of WIPS I have going at any time.  To make it clear, I have not removed anything from the list.  The exception being one pair of slippers, but that brings the total number of pairs to be knit from 3 to 2 and I only have it listed once which means nothing changes in the overall totals. (Sorry if that’s confusing.  It does makes sense to me and the important bit is that totals remain unchanged.)  This whole time I have had 44 as the total number of projects that I want to knit this year which is interesting since the number of projects listed below is actually 40!!!!  That’s right, I added 4 phantom projects to the list.  I am willing to accept the argument that my subconscious was trying to prepare me for the inevitable.  However, before you all run off to agree with me on that point, just give me a little while to enjoy the fact that I have 4 fewer projects on my list than I first thought.  And let’s be honest, 40 is a much smaller number than 44!

So, here’s the list and the Mr. Linky.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful knitting week.

WIPS:
  • Clockwork (cast on June  &  part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (Finished July 2011)
  • Wallis Cardi (cast on August of last year)
  • Rattlesnake Creek socks (cast on about 1 1/2 years ago)
  • Noro Log Cabin Blanket (cast on in June & it’s Christmas Knitting)
  • Toe Up Socks
Christmas:
  • Super secret BFF gift (I know you read this.  No peeking, but you’ll like it.) (Finished Sept  2011)
  • Super Secret Husband gift (He reads it too.) (In Progress)
  • Urbana  (Finished July 2011) (Dad)
  • Podsters
  • Saturday morning slippers x2 (FIL, mom)
  • Minion (Teiff) (Finished October 2011)
  • Gargoyle (Sean) (Finished October 2011)
  • Strangling Vines scarf (Christine) (In Progress)
  • Windcheif hat (dad)
  • Cherie socks  (mom)(In Progress)
  • AStericks (MIL) (In Progress)
  • Dog Chewie (Maggie) (Finished October 2011)
  • Super Secret Little J gift (See first super secret gift.  That’s her mum.) (Finished Oct 2011)
  • Kleenex covers x6 (In Progress)
  • Sachets x6
  • Algonquin
  • Washcloth x2 ( I really thought I was finished with those!)  (Finished Sept 2011)
 
Shawls
  • Herbivore
  • Flamboyan
  • Reunion Cowl
Cardis
  • Roam
Socks
  • Lenore (The third)
  • Flaming Desire (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (In Progress)
  • Staked  (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom)
  • Fishbone Gansey  (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (Finished October 2011)
  • Cut & Paste
  • My Vampire Boyfriend (Part of Nerd Wars) (In Progress)
  • Matrimony Socks
  • Masonic Lodge
  • Flutter-by
  • Aragorn
  • Duckies  (Finished Aug 2011)
Newly added
  • West Knits Mystery KAL (Finished Sept 2011)
  • Julia
  • Minion Army (Finished October 2011)
  • The running totals so far are:

12/40 complete

13/28  in progress


Meet Stone the Second

Meet Stone the Gargoyle (the second!)  As some of you may recall my friend Sean walked into my place, saw the Gargoyle I had made for myself and loudly exclaimed, “I want one of those.  I don’t care if it’s lime green and pink.  I need one!!!”

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I must admit I was tempted by the thought of making him green, but instead opted for something already in my stash (and I’m fresh out of lime green).

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So instead he’s getting this little guy and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be way happier with this colour choice.

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The pattern is Stone the Gargoyle and the updated version doesn’t have the pesky little mistake in it that mine has.  I added pipecleaners to the arms and legs to make them a little more pliable.  And I must say that was the most annoying part of the whole thing.

Overall it’s a very fast little knit and I always love it when I know what my friends want.  Makes life easier for both of us!!

For more great Friday things check out FO Fridays, Creative Friday, Fibre Arts Fridays, & Fibres on Friday.