Category Archives: knitting

Finished Object (not quite) Friday

I have some exciting finished objects this week! Ok, some of them were finished a while ago, but I didn’t have photos to post, so I pretended they didn’t exist yet.

About a month before Christmas my sister, who loudly proclaimed a few years ago that she NEVER wanted anything handmade, asked if I could knit her a baggy sweater. It didn’t matter that it was a month before Christmas, that I had an 8 week old keeping me busy, and a number of other projects to finish- she finally asked for something handmade, and gosh darnit, she was going to get it!

In true knitter fashion, I was up until 2am Christmas Day putting the finishing touches on her sweater, but it was done in time to be wrapped and placed under the tree. It was a simple pattern but I love the look of it, and it was exactly what she asked for.IMG_20150118_093559240 Pattern is Il Grande Favorito, knit with Plymouth Encore Chunky. This was the 38″ bust for 4″ ease. So incredibly simple, and so comfortable.

Almost two weeks ago, I finally finished my husband’s first handknit sweater. This is a testament to true love- stockinette (with some ribbing) in a plain grey. I love my husband dearly, but this sweater tested my resolve. The actual sweater knit up easily, then took 4 hours to seam up. By the time I got to the zipper I just ran it through the sewing machine, because I couldn’t stand to work on it any longer. But it fits him perfectly, and he wears it all the time. 20150118_133529 Pattern is Cambridge Jacket knit with Cascade 220. Size 44″ chest, which gives no real ease. Modifications I would make: increase the sleeve length by 1″, and maybe less increases on the upper arm- they seem a bit loose.

 

This project was just finished a few days ago. I started a baby blanket for Connor back in July, but got so distracted by little sweaters, hats, etc that I ignored it for a while. Plus he got so many beautiful blankets from friends that I didn’t see the rush. But I finally buckled down and completed it the other week.

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Pattern is Honeycomb Stroller Blanket, knit with Ella Rae worsted superwash. I modified the edging to this. The pattern has you pick up stitches on one side, knit garter stitch for a few rows, then bind off. Repeat 3 more times. I don’t like how modular that looks, so I picked up stitches all the way around, then did two increases at each corner every other round. I also did two garter ridges in white, then one garter ridge in brown, two white, one green, two white, then the bind off. I think it makes a much nicer border for this blanket.

And of course as soon as those are off the needles, I have just as many cast on. Another baby sweater, a scarf for a family member, a Doctor Who scarf for Josh, and I’m hoping to start something for myself here soon.

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Finished Object Friday

Woo hoo, another FOF! It’s only been what, 6 months since I did one? There’s a lot to catch up on. Granted, not much has been accomplished since the little one was born, but I have lots to share from right before he arrived.

 

Fall Antlers20141004_140553_medium2 Knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Worsted weight yarn, size 3-6months. While Connor has already outgrown it, I will say that the sizes run true. He’s just a giant baby that is already in 6-9 month clothes at times. Super easy to follow, fun to knit, and bonus! it is sized from newborn to adult, so the whole family can have one!

I’m actually thinking of knitting him a second one in a larger size.

Owlet

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This is the second Owlet sweater I have knit. The pattern is so easy, and since it’s knit in a chunky yarn, it’s finished almost as soon as it’s started! I let A choose what buttons she wanted for eyes, and she went at that with a passion! Each owl has a set of eyes, and while no two eyes match, at least each set has a theme. The yarn used for this one was Berrocco Vintage Chunky- a nice machine washable wool/acrylic blend.

Baby Hat and Booties

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These were knit just before Connor was born. The hat still fits him, but those booties were too small by the time he was a month old or so. Both were super easy projects, and were nice  little things to work on at the end of my pregnancy, when I was fidgety and nothing was entertaining for more than a few minutes.

Pumpkin Hat

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And finally, the pumpkin hat. Connor was due in October, so this seemed fitting. I used the leftover Neighborhood Fiber Co yarn and some green alpaca/wool blend I had hanging around for the stem. This also knit up in just a day.

 

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First Finished Object Friday

A lot of crafters participate in Finished Object Fridays, but I take so long to complete things that I’ve never joined in. This week, I finally have a few items that are 100% done, so why not participate this time around? Heck, if I’m feeling really daring, I might even do WIP Wednesday next week!

On to the finished objects! First up: Baby Sophisticate Sweater for baby Dez. This was knit out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran ( I think…I need to find the ball band). This is the 3 month size, and is so teeny it’s squeal-worthy. Go ahead, you know you want to. I’ll wait.

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Next up is Owlet, by Kate Davies. This was such a fast and easy knit (hard to refrain from a joke there…). I really enjoyed this pattern, and am seriously considering knitting the adult version for myself. Or maybe I’ll knit SD one so they can be twinsies at Christmas. Because kids LOVE IT when you dress them identically. This is out of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, in the 6 month size. Our families have a history of large babies, so my hope is that this will fit him during the second half of winter.

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And…that’s pretty much it. I’m not finishing much around here, lately. Environmental Law is kicking my butt, and we’ve been trying to spend as much time with SD as possible before she leaves tomorrow. Tune in Wednesday to see what I’ve been knitting on to date.

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Success!

This past weekend, I hosted a trunk show for my business. I set up on the front patio of my local yarn store on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day- not too hot, just enough of a breeze, and sunny. The store currently carries only one size of bags that I make, so I loved having the opportunity to showcase a wider range of sizes, plus introduce new items. Overall it was a very productive day, and I am glad I did it.

Here was the set-up:

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Here are the large box bags and drawstring bags. These large bags are amazing- I can fit a completed adult men’s sweater in one! These are nice for those large projects. The photo on the right is notion pouches, DPN holders, and needle rolls. These were all brand new items, and I loved having the chance to show them off.

These next two photos are just an overview of the set-up. A really cute location, and a ton of fun to do.

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Now on to some more fun personal stuff!

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First up is shawl progress. We had such gorgeous weather a few weekends ago that I spent the afternoon on our patio knitting. This of course involved lunch on the patio, too. We eat nothing but the best here- mystery meat in a tube. The shawl is complete, with a few modifications. I didn’t do the lace edging, and instead did a garter stitch border. I wish I had more mats so I could have blocked it a bit more vigorously, but it is still pretty generously sized. I am so madly in love with the fiber and color that I am tempted to buy another 8oz and spin some more.

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I also went on a baking kick. This was a rosemary potato bread recipe I’ve had for a while, but never tried. This came out exactly like the Wegman’s rosemary-sea salt bread. It was delicious, and gone within a few days. I couldn’t believe how large the two loaves were going to be- these things proofed out huge!

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Then it was pie time. Blueberries aren’t quite in season here yet, but they are on sale at the grocery stores, so we decided it was time for blueberry pie. It’s my basic pie recipe- baked shell, with the hot filling poured in and then chilled. It takes 15 minutes, start to finish, and is always a hit.

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I will say, all of this activity seemed to wear someone out. She tried to help as much as possible (read: get underfoot and then be cranky when she accidentally got kicked); but finally resigned herself to napping over by my wheel.

 

 

 

And what would this be without a photo of my current WIP?

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That right there is 21 weeks. I feel so much larger than I look! He is becoming quite active- the kicks are visible now, and half the time it feels like an alien is trying to burst out of me. We are officially past the halfway point! I guess this means we should start working on putting together a nursery…or planning a nursery…

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Making Progress

There is something about the true advent of Spring that makes me productive. I’m not talking about spring on the calender, when we can still expect at least one good snow and more than a few frosts. I mean when the time is right to plant gardens, attend outdoor festivals, sit on back patios drinking your morning coffee and it being the perfect temperature. This is my second favorite time of the year.

This time of year always kicks my butt into high gear, and I love having a long weekend available to me to take advantage of this. This past week I finally got my snapdragons planted out front:

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Yay crummy cell phone photos! Anyway, there are three rows on either side of the steps: 4 in the first row, 3 in the second, and 2 in the third on each side. I’m hoping they fill out. This is the first year I’ve been able to plant my own flower bed, so I’m a little nervous that I somehow screwed something up and doomed these flowers to a wilting, sorrowful life.

 

My container vegetable garden looks to be doing well, although I am a bit worried now that I put too many tomato plants in one planter. I may have to find somewhere else to put one. I don’t know. We’ll see how they do.

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20140525_102817was worried they wouldn’t get enough sun back here, but the seem to get full/partial sun from sunrise to about 4pm back there, and doing well so far.

My pepper plants are doing well too- the first flowers have bloomed, so we should start seeing peppers developing here soon.

My squash/pumpkin/cucumber are also doing better than I expected. I need to buy a trellis to set up in the back of their planter, but I think I have a few weeks before it becomes an issue.

And finally my sugar peas have sprouted! These guys popped up way earlier than I expected, and every morning when I check on them it seems they have developed in leaps and bounds. I cannot wait to collect our first harvest from them, probably in early July.  I plan on then planting a second batch in August for fall peas.

And in the knitting front, I am cruising on the Monsoon Shawl. At this point I have finished 3/4 of the lace repeats, and just have one more to go plus the edging. I am hoping to have this finished next weekend. It’s a really quick knit, and super easy to follow once you get the hang of it. I love how it looks in this merino/bamboo blend (details here). I am thinking of making this again in an alpaca or alpaca blend. Eventually. After knitting baby stuff.

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Did I mention last time that we found out what we are having? By October, we will have a little baby boy! J is so excited, and I am too, although he is very picky about what I can knit for said baby now. I’m glad I had already planned to go with a fall palate for most of the items I am making, regardless of sex.

Last but not least, we checked out an antique store today. It took a lot of willpower for me to not buy this antique wheel. It is fully functional, with a screw tension MOA. The wood was in great condition, considering how old it looked, and when I tested it (as much as I could) it moved so incredibly smoothly. It’s only $88 and it took all of my willpower to not buy it right then. If it’s still there in a month or two, I don’t think I will be able to resist. It’s not a CPW, but it is a nice little antique machine.

What have you been up to this holiday weekend?

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Always Playing Catch-up

Keeping up is hard to do, lately. So much going on, and so little time to record it! The usual is still going on; school is school, pregnancy is…interesting, bags are selling well at the local shop, and work is busy. Honestly, I don’t have it in me to write too much, so I’ll just show you what I’ve been up to in pictures.

Chocolates from our favorite local chocolate shop. I get spoiled occasionally. Maybe it is worth the morning sickness ;)

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I started this while we were still having dark, gloomy weather. It’s a merino/bamboo blend and just so darn cheerful. It spins up like butter and makes me happy. 

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The rest of these photos are from MDSW 2014, which just ended. This year my parents made the trip down with me. I didn’t buy much, but we had such an enjoyable day checking out the sheep and food. I bought 1/2lb of cormo roving, 4oz of BFL/nylon roving from FatCatKnits, and worsted yarn from Neighborhood Fiber Co. to make a sweater for baby.

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Ice cream before we leave!

 

 

 

 


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I’m going to get my things organized, and hopefully have a much more interesting post after this, showing completed projects and plans for my next few. 

Posted in fiber, knitting, MDSW, roving, spinning, wool, yarn | 2 Comments

In like a Lion, out like a…Lion?

I would apologize for not posting in a month but honestly… I have had way too much going on to blog. March has been a whirlwind of not only crazy unseasonal winter weather, but also activity! Right about the time we moved into our new house, we received some surprising news:

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There’s a baby D on the way! We are so excited, and nervous, and thrilled, and terrified. That contributed a lot to the lack of blogging. I was so sick and tired for the entire first trimester, that doing anything besides getting up, going to work, coming home and going to sleep was too taxing. Plus it’s hard to keep a secret like that when you have a blog. I mean, there wasn’t much I could talk about besides “looked at baby knitting. Was sick all day.” 

What’s new in knitting? Well, I started a baby sweater! This is the owlet pattern by Kate Davis. I needed an easy pattern to start out with, and I have wanted to knit an owls sweater for ages. This seemed like a great one to start with. I’m already binding off the neck, and only have to graft the sleeves, weave in ends, and block it.  This sweater will be done in no time!

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Oh, J’s 2013 birthday socks? I finally  finished them last week. They are done, ends woven in, and sitting on top of his dresser. I am so glad to have those done. I never want to look at that pattern again. 

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Other than that, not much going on. My full-time job has me working more than full-time right now, so any free time I have is spent doing homework for my graduate class, or trying to keep up with housework. I’m hoping now that I’m in the second trimester that I’ll be able to keep up with things a little better. In the meantime, I plan on spending the rest of this gloomy, rainy, sleety Sunday sitting on the couch with a hot mug of tea and some knitting to relax with. 

 

 

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And We’re Back!

Whoops, a month since my last post! It’s been crazy here, between moving, coming down with the flu, fieldwork picking up, and trying to keep up with bag orders, it’s been hard to find time to blog.

So, what has been going on besides that? Well, we got a little bit of snow the other week:

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We’ve moved into our new house, and now I have an entire room to craft in! My own personal space! I’m excited. There is still a lot of organizing to be done, but it’s to the point where it’s functional, and that’s good enough for now.

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My bags are now available at Little Owl Knit Shop! They have only been open for a month but already have an amazing selection of yarn, and a nice display of awesome project bags if I do say so myself.

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Josh’s birthday socks (for 2013) are *almost* done. I love the pattern, but the one thing I hate is knitting men’s socks toe up. The easy part gets done first, and then the rest just drags. Pictured is sock #1. Sock #2 is done up to the heel, and all that is left is the leg portion.

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And in non-crafting news, we have been geeking out lately with our newest game- Star Trek Catan. This version of Settlers of Catan is so much fun. Well, it would be a lot more fun if J didn’t kill me in every game we played.

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Hopefully things will be slowing down a bit over the next couple weeks, and I will be able to post more. I do want to post some of the new things showing up at Rock Solid Designs in the next month or so.

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2013 in Review

Hello, 2014! This past year has been such a crazy, busy, educational one that I hardly know where to start with my summary. A year ago this month I decided to go back to school. This was a tough decision; my husband is currently a full-time student, and I work full-time.  After much thought though, we realized that we can handle it financially, and tax-wise it was most beneficial for me to do it now. To date I have completed 19 graduate level credits, and am almost halfway through my program, while still working full-time (much of the time out in the field). 

This year we really tried to buckle down on following a budget. It was definitely rough with me travelling so much for work, but we are figuring out where our downfalls are. In an effort to try and save as much of our CSA produce as possible, I decided to learn how to can. With only being home on weekends, food wasn’t getting eaten before it was going bad. This was a great way to keep money from going to waste, and it’s giving us delicious fruits well into winter!

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I also decided that this was a great time to start a side business! My timing is, to say the least, awful. There has been so much going on that some days I feel so overwhelmed I could cry, but it has been worth it. I’ve gone from making bags and hoping people will notice them, to having a fully stocked website, an active facebook page, a presence in local craft shows, and the latest achievement- bags for sale in our new local yarn store! This has not been an easy road and there are still many challenges ahead, but I am sure I can handle it.

Knitting has been slow this year. With all this chaos, knitting has sadly fallen by they wayside. Even so, there have been a few finished projects this year! Below is a gallery of my 2013 FO’s.

Ok, so technically the Opulant Raglan is currently blocking and still needs ends woven in, but the knitting was finished before the year ends, so I am counting it. 

I will be casting on my annual New Year’s Cast-on-along project here soon. My goals for this year are varied; can more, stress less, knit more, run more. We’ve already decided on doing two sprint triathalons this year, and I cannot wait!

Do you make resolutions, or set goals instead? Or do you just ignore all of that, and just plan on enjoying everything 2014 sends your way?

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The Calm After the Storm

Christmas has come and gone for another year here. Presents were all received with much excitement, and cookies, fruitcake, roast, and sweets have all been consumed. I look forward to a few more days of relaxing before having to go back to the daily grind of work, classes, chores, and social obligations.

J and I have joined my parents, grandparents, and one of my uncle’s families up at the lake for a few days. This time is my favorite; we all sit around drinking coffee and talking, take hikes, play board or trivia games, and just enjoy catching up with everyone’s goings on over the past year.  There is chaos and laughter, exchanging of advice, and copious amounts of beverages. 

I never really partake in New Year’s Resolutions. They always seems to be something vague “get in shape,” and setting something more specific always makes me feel like a failure if something happens that prevents success.  I prefer to go with hopes for the new year- things to strive for, to look forward to, but not obligatory successes. I’m still finagling the details, but it gives me something to think about while I drink my morning coffee. 

I also partake in a “New Year’s Cast-on-along”  started a few years ago by a rubbernecker friend. The purpose of this is to cast on a brand new project, something for yourself, as an enticement for good omens in the coming year.  I haven’t even begun thinking about what I should start for myself. Three years ago it was my wedding veil (so far the good omen seems to be working), and last year I did a quick pair of mittens. Maybe this year I’ll do something simple, such as a nice winter scarf, or a quick hat. Something to wear through the rest of the winter to cheer me up. 

 

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