A New Name

It seems fitting that the first day of the New Year, I spiffy up my old blog with a new name and a new look.

48 hours ago, I had no intention of doing any such thing. But when I noticed that I had forgotten to renew my knittedgems domain, I quickly scrambled to recover my precious blog. Yes, I know I haven’t posted to my blog in months. There is no time. I fall into bed at the end of the day. Chasing a toddler and homeschooling two 5-year-olds is exhausting work.

Even though nothing magical is going to happen tomorrow. I will still be too busy to write a blog post more than once a month. I couldn’t let it go. It is precious to me. I’ve sunk long hours into writing posts and publishing patterns for the blog.

My first knitting project published on the blog was an afghan that I named “Ode to Quilting”. It took me days to sew all those little pieces together. Many long days.

When I was done cursing and sewing, I sent the afghan to Jennifer Marsh. Her art project at the time was to decorate an old gas station in NYC. She is now trying to decorate a NASA rocket through her new project, the Dream Rocket.

Years have passed and my blog has grown. I have talked about everything on it: gardening, card making, cooking, vacations, holidays, babies being born, a daughter being adopted, and my latest endeavor of homeschooling. Attached to the blog is a pattern store with several of the knitting patterns I have designed.

No, I couldn’t let it go. However, I also wasn’t going to pay $4,000 to buy my domain back. Um, no. It’s not that precious to me.

Instead, I chose a new domain. A domain named after me: mariehaigh.com

I have my own name! I couldn’t believe it was available. And it suits me to a ‘T’.


Hand Knit Rug

The blue hand knit rug is finished.

Pattern: Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown
Yarn: Briggs n Little Heritage in navy blue and sewSpun yarn with Leaves (hand spun and hand dyed)

Although, I had intended it to be a bedroom rug, I ran out of steam to make it big enough. It looked ridiculously small laying beside the queen size bed, like I had stuck a postage stamp on a 9*12 envelope.

So, it found a new home underneath the half moon table in the hallway.

Though I have yet to catch him on camera, Jake has found a way to squeeze at least half of his body onto this small rug. Poor Jake. He is still upset with us for throwing the old green carpet in the trash.

A Cat Rug

The bedroom rug is now large enough for a cat to sleep on it.

A small cat that is.

Of course, a cat would never survive in our home. Jake is certain that cats belong in the same category as all small furry creatures: retrievable animals. Jake is a Golden Retriever after all.

As much as Elly loves cats, she has never asked to have one as a pet. The answer would be no not only because of Jake but also because of Dan as he is allergic to cats.

Elly has her sights set a bit higher. She wants a horse and had told me matter-of-factly that she is going to have a horse as a pet.

Knitting in between the Quilting

Work on the Dresden plate quilt continues but at this stage it is not portable, so I have picked my knitting needles back up.

The pattern is called the Ten Stitch Blanket.

My plan is to use it as a rug in our bedroom. As much as I love our hardwood floors, they are cold. A rug would warm things up and provide Jake, who is getting old, another soft spot to rest on.

The yarn is Briggs & Little Heritage wool, a gift from my mother-in-law.

To brighten the dark blue up, I plan to incorporate SewSpun‘s fall yarn though I am not entirely sure how yet.

A Tradition Made

Without planning it, I have started a tradition that I’m not entirely sure I can continue.

It seems that I have made Elly a quilt or a blanket for every year of her life plus an extra year.

The quilt I made for her birth

The blanket I knit for her 1st birthday

Look at that chub! I miss it.

The quilt I made for her 2nd birthday.

And now the quilt I repaired for her 3rd birthday.

The odds are good that she will get yet another quilt for her 4th birthday, since I have one in the works for her.

It should be mentioned that she doesn’t lack for quilts and blankets. Her great aunt hand stitched her a Winnie the Pooh quilt for her birth. Her Gram has crocheted her 4 blankets plus made her 1 quilt. I have actually put away all the store-bought blanket I received at my baby shower, since handmade blankets are far superior in my book.

The Hexagon Blanket

It is finished.

According to my Ravelry project page, it took me a year to knit this blanket. Though I’m fairly sure for 6 months of that time, I had it stuffed in a basket that was then piled high with fabric. It took me a while to fall in love with the pattern. But, I did. Perhaps it was all the stitches that one must pick up in this pattern that caused me to initially hide my head in the sand. I was never very good at picking up stitches. Thanks to this pattern, I’m a pro and speedy to boot.

Speaking of the pattern, let’s talk details. I hope you want to know the stats because I am dying to share them with you. I took notes just in case you wanted to knit a hexagon blanket too or just in case you are curious. Either works for me.

Pattern: Basic Two-Needle Hexagon by Barbara Walker
Located in a 4th Treasury of Knitting Patterns book
Page 16 in my copy

Size of finished blanket: 60″ diameter
Size of individual hexagon: 20″
My gauge: 5 sts per inch on size 6 needles (though as mentioned previously, I’m a very loose knitter)

I originally made a hexagon about the size featured in the book by casting on 25 stitches. Yet, I knew Dan would find me on a train headed to the funny farm if I had to knit 20+ hexagons and then stitch them altogether. Learning from my swatch, I cast on 55 stitches. The rest of the instructions I followed to the letter. I even used 2 colors like Barbara recommended. After the first hexagon was finished, I became lax and perhaps a bit confident in my picking up skills. Finding her instructions on how to pick up exactly 55 stitches tedious, I stopped counting and proceeded to pick up only the stitches that were easy to pick up, skipping stitches at random. Rarely did I pick up the correct number. I usually had 2-4 stitches too many, but I solved that problem by quickly decreasing the extra stitches on the next row. Can I tell you that it made the hexagon just that much more enjoyable to knit? And how! As happy as I was to finish knitting before the weather got hot, I was sad to be done with the blanket. Though I’ve never knit a pattern twice, this is one pattern I would gladly make an exception for.

Now as you know, this blanket was a yarn hog. I made 2 trips to my LYS and still had to order extra yarn from a fellow Ravelry user. In the end, I used 8 skeins of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in natural, colorway 14 for the MC (main color). I even needed a 9th skein to stitch all the hexagons together. It was that close. For the variegated yarns, I used 3 balls of Crystal Palace Taos and 6 skeins of Noro Kureyon in colorway 250. If you plan to use Noro throughout the blanket as the CC (complimentary color), then you’ll need closer to 10 skeins.

Oddly, when I finished stitching all the hexagaons together, I didn’t like the blanket. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t as amazing as I had dreamed it could be. It looked like a bunch of little stitches with 3 different types of yarns. No angels descended from on high and sung to me. It just didn’t happen.

And then I washed it and blocked it. But more importantly, I left it at my neighbor’s house in her upstairs room to dry (she had the space to allow it to dry flat). Walking away from it for 2 days and not looking at it allowed me fall in love with the blanket when I saw it next. I think I had been too close to the blanket for too long. It looked so mundane to me because it was commonplace in my hands. Now, I truly love it again.

It is a Flower Blanket

Said Elly after I stitched the six outer hexagons together.

I stitched the hexagons together on the picnic table outside while Elly played in her water table and her sandbox.

It was a wonderful day.

So wonderful in fact that we took a ride on the tandem bike to Coventry Ice Cream Parlor. Elly repeatedly told us how much she liked ice cream.

The next few days should be rainy so the center of the flower will sit and wait on the dining room chair. By the end of the month though, the hexagon blanket will be finished. My current plan is to devote all my energy to the party dresses, but it may prove hard to stay away from my yarn stash. Maybe I’ll spin the alpaca fiber. Oh dear, I think I’m smitten already.

Finished Knitting

I was going to write a post about how I ran out of yarn on the final section of the 7th and last hexagon. It was comical because when I made the trip to my LYS last month, I had picked up an extra skein of the Wool Clasica by Manos del Uruguay. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t need it, but got it anyway for insurance purposes. Besides, it would be nice to have some in my stash, I reasoned. Yeah, that is the skein I used up completely while knitting the last hexagon.

I ordered more yarn, but no longer need it. I found a small ball of Wool Clasica in my project bag. It was so small that I didn’t think there was any chance that it would be enough to knit the last few rows.

But, it was.

Dance of joy followed by a huge sigh of relief.
The blanket is finished (except for the finishing) before my May 15th deadline and before the summer weather arrived.

Yesterday morning, I seamed up all the hexagons.

Now, I just have to sew the pieces together. Unfortunately, it’s a bit fiddly since the stripes need to line up. It’s going to take a lot of patience and a glass or two of port, I think.

Casting on for the Final Hexagon in


Noro won the poll last week.

I have more than enough of the Noro to finish the blanket. I’m not sure I would have enough of either of the handspun. So, it works out. I wouldn’t want to get halfway through the last hexagon and realize that I have to reknit it. Not only is the warm weather almost here (It’s supposed to be in the 80’s this week), but my hands have been hurting after just a few rows of knitting. I’m powering through this blanket to get it finished, but I might take a small break afterwards.

The small break would give me the time needed to sew up the seams and weave in all the loose ends.

Ready, Set, Knit!

Today is the Knitting Marathon.

My goal is to finish knitting the hexagon I started working on 2 days ago. If I succeed, it will leave me with only the last hexagon left to knit. Unfortunately, I am still unsure which yarn to use in the last hexagon. The poll I put on my blog is virtually tied. Here I was hoping you would make my decision easier, dear readers. Ha, ha!

Since Elly’s favorite thing to do with yarn is to rip it apart and wrap it around her body, I’ll be doing my best to keep her preoccupied.

In the morning, we’re headed to our local McDonald with the Mom’s Club of Pottstown. In the afternoon, I plan to make full use of my Disney movie collection as the forecast is calling for rain. With a little luck, she’ll be too busy having fun to care about what her Mama’s doing.