Use it up

Last month while stuck indoors during one of our winter storms, I cleaned out my stash of yarn, needles, patterns, and pieces.  The knitting muse struck.  It was time to use some things up.


My inspiration piece was the lower back of a sweater that my grandma had started knitting in some prior decade, but never finished.  I had several balls of the main color yarn, but none of the accent colors.  I cut her piece in half vertically (after using the sewing machine to zig-zag on each side of the cutting line).  This made two lower sleeve pieces.


Then I started knitting the body.  The needles were Size 15.  I used 3 or 4 yarns at a time, and worked in a k2-p2 checkerboard pattern.  That made the sweater extra-bulky.  When it was time to connect the sleeves and form the shoulders and neck, I adapted to this crochet pattern.

Crochet sweater lionbrandThe crochet pattern is a free download from here, once you’ve registered (for free) with

I used a crochet shell stitch in Grandma’s main color, to bind the center front edges and make the sleeve seams.  The plastic buttons were my only purchase for the project.  They came in multi-colored sets of six for under $2.IMG_6375w-cropped--marked

The sweater is heavy enough to be a light coat.  It will be just right for some of our upcoming Spring days.


The sweater still needs to be steamed and blocked, particularly the waistline and edging.  There are a few loose ends to tuck in.


My grandma was my life’s example of using what you have.  I can hear her laughing now, at how I “finished” her sweater.  I think she would approve.

Much of this project was knitted and crocheted on Sunday nights, while I watched this season of Downton Abbey.  My grandma would have been the age of Downton babies, Sybil and George.  And now a glimpse of what their grandma, the Countess of Grantham does in the off-season:

Well, there went February

Just like that, it’s gone.  I really don’t know where February went.  I was terribly busy, but on what?  On watching Downton Abbey (and knitting) on Sunday nights.  And then there is basketball.  Lots of basketball.  What a season!  And then I’ve been blessed with lots to do at my “day job.”  All is good.

It is still Winter, judging from this past weekend’s ice and snow, and frigid temps.  I do hope this is the last blast of the bitter, bitter cold for the season.

I did a 3.5 mile run-walk on Sunday evening, when the outside temperature was 7F/-14C, with a windchill of -15F/-26C.  I bundled up in a hooded down parka and pants, with a wicking layer underneath, and suede ugg boots, with face and hands well-covered; yet another strange ensemble, but it worked.  I took along my ‘good’ camera, and cradled it like a football while running.  The boots are not waterproof, but it was too cold for anything to melt and soak in.  My feet, and the rest of me, stayed toasty warm. I ended up sweating quite a bit inside the down layer, but that doesn’t mean I wore too many layers.  I needed that level of protection against the cold, because I quickly got cold when taking a walk break.  This kept the walk breaks short and infrequent–not a bad thing, since I really don’t need them as much as I’m just using them to change up the pace, or to pause and admire a view with my camera.


IMG_6386w--marked IMG_6384w--marked

The only signs of life I saw on the entire 3.5 mile loop, were an old pickup-snowplow making his rounds, and this guy, who had a faaabulous coat.


Once again, I got started too late, and finished in the dark.  This is becoming a habit.  There is a captivating vibe, being out on foot on a snowy road at night.  It is a beautiful stillness that belies the upset routines and daytime chaos of vehicles trying to conquer the snowy streets.  The bright snow and occasional street lamps make it just light enough to see.





Apparently, I’m not the only one March has snuck up on.  *smile*


This weekend, if the forecast holds, I’ll be back in my cropped tights.  I’m crossing my fingers for that, and imagining the warmer air.